CTA Says “No” to Development Fee Waiver

Northumberland Medical Arts Inc.(NMAI) has requested relief from, or a donation of, approximately $240,000 in Development Charges and $72,000 in building permit fees for a total of $312,000. NMAI is a not-for-profit corporation which will oversee the construction, leasing and operation of a medical arts building on land it will lease from Northumberland Hills Hospital.

Northumberland Hills Hospital and NMAI are two separate entities and the only commonality is that the planned medical office building will sit on land leased from the Hospital.

The Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA) opposes waiving the fees as an indirect way of assisting Northumberland Hills Hospital.

  • This $312,000 request is larger than the sum of all community grants in 2014 and is three times the size of the Town’s current annual grant to Northumberland Hills Hospital.
  • Granting the waiver will encourage other businesses to apply for similar waivers.
  • Granting the requested NMAI waiver would cost the taxpayers of Cobourg over $300,000 now, but will provide only about $22,000 of annual additional funding to Northumberland Hills Hospital.
  • A direct grant to Northumberland Hills Hospital instead of a waiver of fees to NMAI ensures that the financial benefit to the Hospital is not threatened by any future contingencies, surprises or unknowns.

The CTA recommends that the Town of Cobourg provide an additional annual grant directly to Northumberland Hills Hospital instead of the requested waiver by NMAI. If the Town’s additional support were $50,000 per year or $3 per capita this would provide over twice the $22,000 per year which the Hospital would indirectly receive due to the waiving of fees requested by NMAI. At the same time, it would have a much lower immediate impact to Cobourg’s taxpayers.

A grant from Cobourg will encourage other municipalities to directly fund their fair share of the Hospital’s expenses.

Full written submission can be viewed here.