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Tay Township to consider waiving penalties and interest until July

Short-term rentals, 2019 financial report, and other staff reports also on Wednesday's agenda.
Tay Township municipal offices are closed to the public, council is meeting virtually to discuss matters. (File photo)

Tay council will be looking at waiving penalties and interest on current water/wastewater accounts for two more months.

According to a staff report, a similar waiver on current taxes means the township will lose $25,000 in revenue as well as an additional $10,000 in penalties and interest charges on water/wastewater accounts. An additional $6,800 will be lost by not adding outstanding water account balances in May.

At a previous meeting, council looked at staff recommendation to waive penalties and interest until May 1. Staff was then asked to come back with an update on the situation at the meeting coming up Wednesday.

Included in the agenda (available online) is a staff report that updates council on extension of penalty and interest waiver, recommending a waiver for the months of May, June, and July.

The agenda also includes a look at the 2019 financial summary.

The report included in the documents recommends council consider transferring surplus funds to reserves in various categories. Staff recommend that a projected surplus of $512,000 from 2019 operations budget be transferred to a future capital reserve. As well, staff will present reports to council, including a monthly report from the fire chief, public works director, CAO as well as the director of planning and development.

Councill will also be taking a look at provincial directions around short-term rentals after regulations were updated April 9.

The changes state that short-term rentals booked after April 4 are only to be provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period, however, this does not apply to hotels, motels, and student residences. As of March 23, there were 72 such properties listed in Tay Township, a figure that may increase closer to the summer months. Staff recommends bylaw officers continue to enforce provincial rules around short-term rentals and the rule restricting gatherings of more than five people.

Planning and development director Steve Farquharson noted in the report it is his understanding that the restrictions on short-term bookings applies only to bookings made after April 4, making bookings made before then still valid.

So far, staff has received three phone calls from township residents informing them of properties possibly being used as short-term rentals. The situation will remain under scrutiny as warmer weather approaches and restrictions are possibly lifted from businesses.