Day: May 29, 2018

Persistence pays off

click to enlarge

Dave Tredree is a Cobourger from way back. A well respected hockey coach, in his time, and an all round good guy – and obviously a person in for the long haul.

Dave is probably the last known Radio Shack franchisee in the business. Years ago when RS decided to eliminate its franchises Dave took them on, as his was taken away. In the courts for years he finally prevailed thus showing obstinence, a clear sense of principle and obviously tenacity.

On the side he has dabbled in real estate development and picked up a piece of land, many years ago, just over the border, on Hwy 45, when nobody else wanted it; a piece of junk land covered in brush. But obviously an adherent of the Bob Hope school of millionaires, who famously quoted, “Anybody can make money in real estate – just buy the land on the outskirts of Town and wait!”

Well Dave’s ship has come in and his tenacity has paid off. On Monday evening at the CoW meeting there is an agreement between the Twp of Hamilton and Cobourg coming up for approval. This was discussed in the last post “Now for a bit of history” but we didn’t say that the report is looking to extend services to three areas (the new Hospice on Ontario St is the third one). But back to “The Tredree Lands” (as they are described in the report), this development is going to be a “an area of 9.32 acres, on a 22.30 acre lot, and the proposed development includes a food court. fuel/convenience facility, service repair facility and hotel”. The parking lot will have parking for 51 trucks and the hotel will be 14,500 sf. Quite the complex!

So the question is – what price will Hamilton Twp and the developer have to pay for the privilege of benefiting from Cobourg’s services. How much has the value of the vacant 9.32 acres increased by the addition of these services. If the value has increased how much will the developer pay to Cobourg for this value? Don’t forget the value would have never increased without these services!

What we do know is that the report from the CAO reveals that the cost of the services to cross the border will be at the developer’s expense – they will build the pipes. The cost of the services is based on the usual LUSI formula. But the costs are the same as being in Town, with the exception of an increased monthly charge for the water/sewage. LUSI will measure the consumption for water and the sewage charge will be based on the quantity of water delivered. The tricky question of selling Cobourg’s future sewage capacity is addressed as “Development Charge capacity loss compensation” which really means that if a developer was building this structure inside the border he would have had to pay a development charge, which has been established by consultants last year. If a developer is building outside the borders this compensation amount will be charged and based on the annual consumption. The question is HOW much should this compensation be? Just how much money will Cobourg make out of this development considering that all of the taxes generated will flow to Hamilton Twp. Surely a developer inside the border will pay a development charge but the structure built will generate taxes and benefits for the Town, can we say the same for a facility in Hamilton Twp? The Tredree facility has not had the amount determined yet but the Pentecostal Camp will pay a onetime fee of $70,884.60. We will wait for that breakdown and justification – it seems to minimal at first glance!

The final thing the BR will say in this report, they have an interview scheduled with the Town later in the week to check our facts and listen to the Town’s justifications, is that the size of the sewage pipe is the wrinkle in this debate. The proposed developments are not on the border but some distance away from it. That means there is developable land between the border and the new facilities. That means that unless the size of the pipe is geared to the facilities in question only, there will be excess capacity available to others that have frontage. These properties will be able to command to be hooked up. So the ‘giveaway’ really is bigger than at first glance.

Just wonder how many of these questions have been asked in the secret meetings that have taken place already in the back rooms?