Luke Edwards, Niagara This Week
Charities, not-for-profits eligible for noise bylaw refund
This summer Port Colborne charities and not-for-profit groups might have a little more money to give back to the community.
On Tuesday council amended a staff report seeking to reduce the $450 noise bylaw to a $300 non-refundable fee. Coun. Bea Kenny moved to amend the report to give registered charity groups and not-for-profit groups a $150 refund if the fundraiser went smoothly and there were no need to call bylaw or the Niagara Regional Police.
“The $150 is their (the city’s) donation to the organization,” said Coun. Yvon Doucet, before the amendment was passed 3-1.
A typographical error after council approved the $300 non-refundable noise bylaw last November changed the fee for individuals or groups applying for a noise bylaw exemption to $450. Tuesday’s report was meant to clear that typographical error, but councillors said some groups in the city were complaining that even $300 is too much.
“My concern is the not-for-profit organizations,” Doucet said, adding the $300 comes out of what those groups can give back to the community.
Now, not-for-profits, registered charity organizations or groups working under the umbrella of such an organization will have to pay the $300 up front. If there are no problems with the event they would be eligible to receive half that money back.
Kenny noted the refund would also be a way to provide incentive for people to make sure their events go off without a hitch and things don’t get out of hand.
Coun. Bill Steele didn’t agree with the refund, saying it costs that much for the staff work done in doing the administrative work and preparing for the event.
Mayor Vance Badawey added staff is simply following what council directed them to do, and that is moved away from taxpayer subsidy and toward a user fee structure.
“I think they’ve done it here,” he said.