Clearview Drops Support of Regional Airport

The Collingwood Regional Airport has lost a long-time partner. Clearview Township has removed its representation.

Collingwood Councillor Bob Madigan wonders why Clearview’s representation was withdrawn. At the regular meeting of Collingwood Council on Monday December 11, 2017, Madigan said that Clearview Township had been a partner for a very long time but he wanted to know if any specific reasons were given for the decision.

From the Clearview Township Council Minutes – November 13, 2017
14.1 Deputy Mayor Burton (Collingwood Regional Airport)
Moved by Deputy Mayor Burton, Seconded by Councillor Measures, Be It Resolved, that Council of the Township of Clearview hereby:
1) Remove Council representation from the Collingwood Regional Airport.
Motion Carried.

Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson said he understood that the removal of the money happened in a budget meeting. “I don’t know what the rationale was during that discussion. The vote that took place at the council meeting was to specifically remove their representative, but I don’t know if at that time Councillor Burton gave the rationale for his motion.”

Collingwood Councillor Mike Edwards said that he only knows what was supplied to the town in the documentation from Clearview Township. “As the Deputy Mayor has said budget approval was taken out for the twenty-five thousand dollars that they give us as part of the regional airport bylaw that we have with them, and Deputy Mayor Burton who is Clearview’s member on the board put forth a motion at council. We were not presented with any documented reasons as to why it would take place.” He said the town has received nothing official as to why Clearview has pulled away.

Councillor Madigan said he felt the Town should know reasons behind Clearview’s decision to withdraw to help with other current and future business relationships. “I knew when the money was taken out and I knew when they did it, I was just wondering if they gave us reasons why so we can continue to better ourselves and our partnerships with other communities. They don’t owe us an explanation but it would be nice as good community partners.”

Deputy Mayor Saunderson asked CAO Fareed Amin to follow up on the matter with Clearview Township.

Existing and Future Operating Costs, as outlined in Staff Report CAO2017-06

The Collingwood Regional Airport is 100% owned by the Town of Collingwood and its operation is managed by a Joint Municipal Services Board made up of membership from the Town of Collingwood, Town of Wasaga Beach and Township of Clearview.

This CRA Board is responsible for the day-to-day operations. The two external participating municipalities contribute approximately $35,500 (Clearview – $25,000 and Wasaga Beach – $10,500) per year towards operations, with the Town of Collingwood having responsibility for the balance of all expenses and capital works. In 2016 this amounted to $320,000. The financial participation of both Clearview and Wasaga Beach is discretionary, cancellable at any time without obligation, leaving the burden of responsibility with Collingwood taxpayers.

Through the development review process the Town has requested a Fiscal Impact Study from Clearview Aviation Business Park (CABP) representatives; to date no such study has been received. Thus, there is no information currently available which details the expected operating costs of an expanded airport.

There is a statement in the C.C. Tatham report, dated April 2016, entitled “Aircraft Access to Collingwood Regional Airport” that there will need to be a “plan to resolve compensation for the relevant capital and operating costs”, but no specifics have been provided to date. Therefore, staff are left to assume that these unknown additional costs could be the responsibility of Collingwood’s taxpayers.

Note: Since this Staff Report was released, Clearview Township has withdrawn support.

Here is the voting record by Collingwood Council members in a recorded vote on September 25, 2017

The vote on September 25, 2017 at the regular meeting of Collingwood Town Council to declare the airport as surplus to the needs of the community was unanimous.


CLICK HERE to return to News Headlines