DIDSBURY - Town council has given first reading to Bylaw 2021-10 Animal Control Rates that, if approved, would increase cat and dog licences fees in town.
The move came by way of motion at the recently regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on YouTube.
The Town of Didsbury’s current annual revenue from animal licence fees is approximately $15,000. Administration had recommended increasing the rates, which have remained unchanged since 2014.
“Administration reviewed municipalities who follow a similar licence structure as the Town of Didsbury, and of similar size and/or location. It was found that licensing fees vary significantly between municipalities,” administration said in a briefing note to council.
“Based on the review, and to account for changes in the costs to provide animal control services, it is recommended that licence fees are increased for 2022 from $15 to $20 for altered dogs and cats, $35 to $40 for unaltered dogs and cats and $5 to $15 for late fees.”
To offset the impact of higher late fee, administration is recommending an extension of the deadline from Feb. 1 to Mar. 1.
Manufactured home bylaw considered
In other news from the Nov. 9 council meeting, council has considered a proposed bylaw that would allow the municipality to add overdue utility accounts on manufactured home communities to the taxation roll.
Bylaw 2021-11 Assessment and Taxation of Manufactured Home Communities received first reading at the Nov. 9 council meeting. The new bylaw would be permitted under recent changes to the provincial Municipal Government Act.
“Designated manufactured homes (DMH) within a manufactured home community (community) are unique as there is no panel of land associated to the property,” administration said in a briefing note to council.
“Therefore, unpaid charges for a municipal utility service cannot be added to the tax roll. Instead the town must take unpaid accounts to collection, which is time consuming and costly.”
Passing a bylaw to make the assessed person of a DMH on a site in a community the owner of the community will allow the town to add all unpaid utility accounts to the taxation roll, council heard.
“The owner of the community will then be responsible for collecting unpaid utilities from the DMH owner responsible. Currently the town bears the risk of not collecting utility accounts. By passing this bylaw the owner of the community will bear the risk.”