CENTRE WELLINGTON ‒ The feeling was unanimous in council chambers; Fergus and Elora are ready to evict their termite tenants.
Approving staff's recommendation that the municipality hire Termite Research Services Inc. for termite management services at a council meeting Monday evening, it's anticipated the removal will cost approximately $1.4 million over a five-year agreement.
"We really want to make it a community effort and get rid of these little suckers," said Coun. Lisa MacDonald, during the meeting. "(Especially since) this is a block-by-block method."
But while she was supportive of the proposed strategy, McDonald wanted to ensure that public education was a main component of their investment.
"Even when I drive down here to the township office, I see piles of mulch sitting on front lawns. I see big logs from trees cut down just sitting on front lawns," said MacDonald. "To spend this kind of money and to have I don't want to say repeat offenders but we all have to be on board."
Adam McNabb, managing director of corporate services and treasurer, who presented the proposal, clarified that public engagement was prominently displayed and is a requirement of the program.
"It's the hope of staff that through this termite program, we will be able to significantly reduce the termites within the township," said McNabb. "But again, it's subject to an annual review of the success of the program in terms of the longevity and what we can anticipate in the future."
Based on the latest data available, this cost increase will require using the $200,000 of capital funding available, as well as a one-time tax increase of 1.4 per cent, which was clarified by Coun. Jennifer Adams during the meeting.
In previous discussions, staff estimated the potential costs were in the vicinity of $1,031,655 and would require the use of existing capital dollars and at least a one per cent tax increase to support the program.
However, Coun. Bronwynne Wilton wanted to know what would happen if there was a council changeover come the 2026 election.
"My only comment to that is it'd be subject to the negotiation process," said McNabb. "Certainly that's something that is on staff's radar in terms of exit strategies over the course of the contractor."
Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.