Can Municipalities and the Building Industry Association Agree on Who Pays for Locates in Unassumed Subdivisions?

C.F. Crozier & Associates Inc. had the pleasure of hosting the October Halton Building Industry Land Development Association (BILD) Chapter meeting at our Milton office. Discussions centered around how to manage new procedures (circa 2012) requiring municipalities to provide locates of municipal infrastructure in unassumed subdivisions. Eric Boere, Manager of Water Distribution, Halton Region Public Works, spoke about the financial challenges facing municipalities to support the cost of providing these services.

Within Ontario, any contractor planning to excavate is required to contact Ontario One Call (ON1CALL). Through this free service, utilities such as hydro, gas, telephone, television, water and sanitary are physically marked on site. In unassumed subdivisions under construction however, builders often take advantage of this “free” service by making nonessential calls to prevent locates from expiring. In Halton Region for example, locates need to be updated every 60 days in order to keep their validity.

locates-pic-2A number of Ontario municipalities have decided that the cost of locates in unassumed subdivisions is to be borne by developers. The development industry believes that municipal infrastructure is the responsibility of the municipality from the time the service is commissioned for use.  A spirited, yet informative discussion took place during the Crozier-hosted meeting.

Vanessa Rae, Senior Policy Adviser, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, noted, that the Provincial Government encourages infrastructure owners and excavators to work together to support timely construction activity in their communities and are supportive of the industry developing solutions in collaboration with ON1CALL.

Halton Region and BILD agreed to encourage continued discussions between builders and municipalities aimed at reaching an agreement on the responsibility for the cost of new locates in unassumed subdivisions.

To learn more about Ontario One Call or BILD, please visit and

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