Sudbury city councillors spent well over an hour at a Tuesday night meeting discussing development charges.
The city collects about $4 million a year from the building of homes and businesses in Greater Sudbury. City administration proposed that most of the fees be raised — for the first time in 5 years.
But Coun. Jacques Barbeau said the city should look carefully at neighbouring communities.
"I would look at North Bay as being a direct competitor, and ensure that we're not pricing ourselves out of the market,” he said.
Barbeau said he's concerned about businesses leaving Sudbury for Sturgeon Falls and North Bay because of potentially prohibitive fees. Many of the development charges in North Bay are about half of what they are in Greater Sudbury.
Barbeau also noted the issue of development fees is an important one—and he said many citizens talk with him about it. But he was disappointed only 10 people came to a public meeting on development charges last week.
"It was a pathetic turnout,” he said. “And for people in the community complaining about development charges, get off your chesterfields and get out here and let's hear what you have to say."
Sudburians will get that chance to have their say on development charges in special public hearing during the city council meeting on May 6.