It’s official, Wellesley will take part in the region’s newest bureaucratic institution.
After much planning and plotting by the region’s batch of chief administrative officers, including the since-retired Wellesley CAO Willis McLaughlin, the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation was finally up for approval by council.
And after some consternation by Ward 3 Coun. Peter Van der Maas and Ward 2 Coun. Herb Neher, council decided to go along with the plans at Tuesday evening’s committee meeting.
The idea is for the seven area municipalities – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Woolwich, Wellesley, North Dumfries and Wilmot – to pay into a corporation, which will look to advance the common economic goals of the whole group.
Now, Wellesley will have to cough up $5,000 for 2015, $10,000 for 2016, $20,000 in 2017 and another $20,000 in 2018.
The costs, and the difficulty in measuring potential benefits down the line, were a sticking point for Neher.
Mayor Joe Nowak took a strong stance in favour of the WREDC, arguing that economic growth across the region has spinoff effects in Wellesley.
In the end, council voted unanimously in favour of joining the fray.