Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
12:34 PM EDT
2014-08-21 at 15:21

Hopeful expansion

Jim Madder looks at drawings of new residence buildings.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Jim Madder looks at drawings of new residence buildings.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

The city's help could go a long way to get more students at Confederation College.

Finding housing has been described as a Herculean for students coming to the college from other city's president Jim Madder said. It's the reason the school wants to build up to four new residence buildings, the first two finished as early as next year.

Confederation College pays $75 per students in lieu of taxes. But because it plans to have a private owner for the new buildings, the new residences would have to be taxed. Council is being asked Monday, recommended by administration, to grant the college what it would pay the city in taxes, for the next 25 years. That would cut residence fees by $800 a year for the new 64-unit buildings.

"It allows us to be competitive with other northern colleges and attract more students," Madder said.

The school is losing an estimated 300 people a year to other colleges because it doesn't have adequate accommodations. What the city might be giving up in tax it gets back and then some by students moving into the city, spending an estimated $10,000 each every year.

"That goes through our community," Madder said. "They buy locally."

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fan says:
It would be interesting to know FACTUAL enrolment data and priorities as a number of programs serving local, provincial, and countrywide industries have been axed. Specifically, why this urgent need for housing in a time of declining enrolment and program cancellation?
8/22/2014 4:29:30 PM
fan says:
Lastly, does this new building require a zoning bylaw change? Has anyone been made aware of such a change proposal to the zoning bylaw?. Likely not as any such change requires signs etc prominently placed for public view and, having looked carefully, I see none.
8/25/2014 12:13:22 PM
chbaker says:
What I don't get is this..:

The signs on the highway tell me the population of Thunder Bay is going DOWN.

With all the inflated rent, more and more people are cramming into residences that were designed for less people.

So... Why is there a housing crises? Where have all the homes gone?

Did the people who moved out West for a job take their apartments with them?

Perhaps there is a demographic in town that isn't counted on the census as Thunder Bay residents?

I don't understand....?
8/22/2014 9:39:03 AM
tsb says:
Household sizes. We used to have household sizes of 4 or 5, almost every home had a family in it (and families were 4 or more members, on average), or multiple adults sharing a boarding house. Today, the average size of a census family (the number of people per occupied household) is barely two. In the downtown cores, it's around 1.5. Simply put: people are living alone now. They used to live in groups.
8/22/2014 11:07:31 PM
tnsaf says:
hmmmm, Of course, let's fund a private residence from our collective tax base. That makes perfect sense because that's what LOCAL taxes are for, right? Sarcasm intended.
Perhaps Mr. Madder should re-think Confederation College budget priorities; no doubt there's adequate funds therein to offset a residence - a residence which will be obsolete in fewer than 10 years given declining enrolment.
8/22/2014 9:03:33 AM
Brutus02 says:
Yeah, please raise our property taxes to subsidize a private developer...............NOT!
8/22/2014 8:57:17 AM
spazz says:
Spend some time in Ithica or Guelph. I know both are located near major centres but being school towns is working pretty good for both. College / L.U. / Law School / NOSM. That's a lot of money coming into town and I don't see a real downside to encouraging it where we can.

I know I'm pretty much tilting at windmills here, since the people complaining are the same people complaining on every story posted on this site.. but there you go anyway.
8/22/2014 8:25:11 AM
nvjgu says:
As a rate payer NO, No, NO, NO, NO. The collage is for profit and have to stop asking us for things like this when most of them are on the sunshine list. Pay your taxes!
8/21/2014 10:48:37 PM
Eastender says:
I spend a heck of a lot more in this city than $10,000.00, and I certainly dont get any tax breaks. I dont see why anyone else should.
Maybe if this city kept a lid on taxes, this dillema wouldn't exist. But its a little too late now.
I can afford to buy a bigger house, but I can't afford to pay the taxes on it. So I don't buy a bigger house. Period. If you give the new college residence a break on taxes why not everyone else?
8/21/2014 9:14:31 PM
aj147 says:
Enough with city administration & council blowing everyones money like drunken sailors & expecting ratepayers to fund it. Suck it up Con College & whoever the private developer is. Pay your own way!!!
8/21/2014 8:29:38 PM
TBAY Opinion says:
Local High Schools have seen a 35% decline in enrolment. That is hitting Confederation particularly hard. Fewer H.S. graduates = Fewer applicants for their college.

8/21/2014 7:33:11 PM
fan says:
You are right! In fact, fewer applicants for most colleges. However, perhaps the housing urgency is more about providing accommodation for students from other countries who generate significantly higher tuition fees. Non residents and tax breaks in the same sentence causes even greater alarm.
8/22/2014 8:25:01 AM
Jon Powers says:
President Jim Madder:

This is an old fashion hustle!

Please permit me to add these facts to the table.

The Ontario Govt pays $22,000. a year per student to the college.(Operational Budget)

The College charges just shy of $10,000. rent per year; Not to mention other expenses the student also must pay too.

What the college also wants is more Int students too as they get to charge additional money per student based on country of origin.

The College and University are complaining about local renting costs!?

Guess who set the market for those costs?!

They did! + $10,000. a year!

The only winner is the "Big Banks" and "Big Government".

So much for keeping your taxes down?!

Keep On Posting All!
Great Story!
8/21/2014 7:12:59 PM
henryalbertluci says:
I believe that the private company is Campus Living Centres and they have already been managing the current residence for a number of years now. They run a few college residences, so why should we, the city tax payers, pay for their taxes. Private company, pay their own taxes.
8/21/2014 5:56:58 PM
fan says:
If memory serves, Mr. Madder has already presented this request and it was wisely declined. And, as others have commented, why should we, tax payers, fill in tax gaps for Confederation College?
8/21/2014 5:27:38 PM
Kidknapp says:
Why should we help "fund" a private owner? I am sure they won't pass on any savings to the students!
8/21/2014 4:11:31 PM
ring of fire dude says:
I would like to know who the "private owner"is before anyone starts deferring taxes that I will have to make-up for in the long run . If a private owner can afford to build 4 new complexes he sure as hell can afford to pay the taxes !!
8/21/2014 3:30:14 PM
sandwiches1123 says:
While I agree with your statement in a vacuum I must say the low vacancy rates around town have caused quite a bit of inflation of rent costs. Sure the private owner could build the buildings but what incentive does the owner have to hold the spots for students who are only occupying the rooms for a maximum of 75% of the year. Sure they may have some people doing summer courses but the vast majority of students in residence are attending class from September to April. To continue to be viable, the College needs to keep attracting out of town students since the demographics of Thunder Bay show a decline in post-secondary student numbers in the coming years. Out of town students need places to stay that allow them relatively easy access to the school. Without that housing, students won't come.
8/21/2014 4:38:32 PM
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