Dodge Ram stolen from Bradford commuter lot

A pickup truck was stolen from a commuter lot in Bradford.

On July 30 at about 8 p.m., South Simcoe police were called after a vehicle was stolen.

A 46-year-old Bradford man said he had parked his 2014 white Dodge Ram crew cab at 5:30 a.m. in the lot, located at County Road 88 and Highway 400. When he returned from work at about 7:30 p.m., the truck was gone.

The four-door pickup truck has an Ontario license plate AJ 67065. It has a black, cloth Lund tonneau cover, tinted glass, running boards, a sport hood with two black hood scoops and a custom chrome tail light.

There were also two child seats in the back.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact South Simcoe police at , or Crime Stoppers at .

South Simcoe police want to remind residents to “lock it or lose it” and share their top 10 tips to protect your vehicle and its contents:

— Ensure doors are always locked and the key is in your pocket.

— Park in well-lit areas.

— Never leave money in plain sight.

— Always roll up your car windows.

— Put shopping bags and other parcels in the trunk.

— Ensure GPS is put in a safe, out-of-sight location.

— Keep vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance on you.

— Take electronics, including your cellphone, with you.

— Don’t leave your car running unattended.

— If parking in the same lot often, park in different spots each day.

95-suite Hampton Inn coming to Bradford

A 95-suite Hampton Inn should soon be welcoming guests — and helping generate spinoff economic benefits — in Bradford West Gwillimbury after council agreed this week to defer the town’s development charges for the multimillion project.

“This is a big thing for us,” said Coun. Peter Ferragine, who was on board with deferring the town’s development charges to kick-start the project.

“When you’re talking about a major project like this, you’re talking millions of dollars to get this going,” he added.

For several months the town has been in discussions with representatives of 2477034 Ontario Ltd. who want to build a hotel under the Hampton Inn and Suites brand and stand alone drive-thru restaurant at the West Gwillimbury Power Centre Inc. site on the southwest corner of County Road 88 and Hwy. 400.

Developers had requested a 10-year deferral of the town’s development charges to make the project “viable”, according to a report tabled at council Aug. 7.

While town staff did not oppose a deferral agreement, the 10-year time frame was considered “too great of a burden for the town to carry” since the town’s investment of millions of dollars over the past few years in order to service the Hwy. 400 corridor was predicated on being repaid through the collection of development charges.

Staff, therefore, recommended a one-year time frame for the deferral instead.

Council, however, agreed with Coun. Raj Sandhu, who said the town could “do more”, especially since the project would be entitled to either $600,000 in CIP grants if it were being built in the downtown core or just over $1.2 million if slated for the town’s industrial area, according to rough “guesstimates”.

“We’re looking to defer this, not waive it,” Sandhu added.

Council approved a four-year deferral agreement with fees payable being split into 1/3 instalments collected in years two, three and four from date of occupancy.

“This is a good win-win because this will (show) that this town is willing to work and open for business on our employment lands,” Sandhu said.

The move also addresses the issue of lodging in BWG or, more precisely, lack thereof.

The complaint has been raised by numerous residents, particularly those associated with sports clubs and organizations, who hesitate to bid on tournaments since people have to travel to neighbouring municipalities for accommodations.

“Nobody stays in Bradford. Nobody spends any money in Bradford,” Ferragine said, adding the issue has been brought to his attention on numerous occasions.

Every sports team in the community had to go and spend their money elsewhere, Coun. Mark Contois agreed.

“Every councillor will agree this is wanted and needed in Bradford, whether it is for sports teams or weddings or anything else,” Coun. Peter Dykie said, adding there was virtually no risk to the agreement since should the developer default on the agreement, any outstanding amounts would be added to the property tax roll and collected in taxes.

While the agreement would defer the town’s development charges, those owed to the school boards and county are still payable at the building permit stage.

Noting BWG’s development charges for its employment lands at just over $14 a square foot is considerably lower than what is being considered in Innisfil and New Tecumseth, Mayor Rob Keffer said “we can hold our heads high with any further development that comes if we’re lower than our neighbouring municipalities”.

The estimated construction timeline for the project is one year.