Town of Midland residents will no longer be required to pay $10 to have a garage sale.
At its most recent meeting, council voted in the changes as recommended by staff after a review of the previous bylaw.
Ward 1 Councillor Jonathan Main asked staff for details on the changes to the bylaw.
“We’ve waived the fee but we still want the residents to come to the town to obtain a permit?” he asked.
Karen Desroches, town clerk, clarified the changes in the bylaw.
“The bylaw is pretty much identical to the previous bylaw,” she said. “The $10 garage sale fee was eliminated, as well as the re-permit requirement, but the enforcement part of the garage sale will still be maintained.”
Further, Desroches said, there is still a restriction on the number of days a property owner can hold garage sales and the hours within which sale items have to be removed.
“They’re permitted to have two garage sales annually at one property, occurring on the Saturday and Sunday,” she said, adding, “It’s just more so there’s a mechanism to prevent garage sales on a property on a continuing basis.”
The changes happened as a result of the Town Hall undergoing a process review in an effort to increase efficiencies and enhance customer service, said Karen Desroches, town clerk.
"The garage sale permit requirement was implemented many years ago due to complaints that residents were holding consecutive weekend garage sales which caused disruption to neighbours," she said.
During the evaluation, it was determined that the the administrative cost of producing the garage sale permit exceeded the $10 fee, said Desroches.
"Also taken into consideration was the fact that there have been no issues or complaints lodged in the past few years with respect to garage sales, indicating that the issue of consecutive weekend garage sales has been resolved," she said. "With this in mind, elimination of the permit and fee requirement was recommended and supported by council."
This move, said Desroches, is a positive step from a customer service perspective, as it frees staff to attend to other customer service-related matters.
As for implementation of the two-day limit, she said, the municipal law enforcement officer will continue to monitor the number of garage sales to ensure compliance with the provisions of the bylaw.
“The fines are real: (up to) a hundred grand if you’re a bad garage-saler, so be warned folks,” said Councillor Bill Gordon.