Monday, December 22, 2014

Bag tags take another jump

While a general one percent increase will be applied to the town’s 2013 user fee schedule, certain items are being increased or decreased by a greater margin in the new year.
Bag tags will jump in price by 25 cents, bringing the cost to $2.25 per bag, town council agreed Monday night after a recommendation from the Operations and Facilities executive committee.

The same committee recommended the minimum tipping fee at the landfill remain the same as in 2012 at $18.
The daily overnight camping fees at Pither’s Point Park, meanwhile, will be rounded up to the nearest dollar from their current price while the cemetery price list will go up one percent.
Council also received a report from airport manager Tom Batiuk, indicating the following steps be taken to bring rates here in line with other airports in Northwestern Ontario.
These steps include:
•increasing the landing fees charged to international turbo prop/turbo jet aircraft that are inbound to Fort Frances;
•waiving the landing fees for all piston aircraft under 2,000 kg and for international piston aircraft over 2,000 kg that purchase 100LL fuel;
•charging an airport improvement fee to all commercial charter aircraft that arrive and depart from the Fort Frances Airport (the only exemption would be for medivac traffic); and
•publishing all associated airport fees on the town’s website so air travellers to and from here have a clear picture of them.
Water and sewer fees have not been addressed at this time, but will be determined prior to the first billing cycle in 2013.
It is possible, however, that there will be an increase.
Council previously approved a long-range water and sewer financial plan, which indicated an five percent increase in revenue is required over the next five years in order for the town to reach financial sustainability with regards to its utilities.
For its part, the Planning and Development executive committee has recommended several amendments to the user fee schedule pertaining to licences and parking spaces, including:
•the elimination of bicycle licences;
•all monthly rented parking spaces will draw the same fee (previously, all parking spaces in excess of one were at 50 percent of the monthly fee); and
•adjustments to the fee charged for an annual parking space will allow for a two-month incentive (previously, it allowed for a four-month incentive).
And in an effort to promote greater use of the Sorting Gap Marina, the Community Services executive committee has reduced the slip rental cost for the 2013 boating season.
This is the second-consecutive year the committee has dropped the cost for slip rentals at the Sorting Gap.
After dropping it by 15 percent last year, there was no increase at all in slip rentals. Only 24 of 74 slips were rented in both 2011 and 2012.
“The Community Services division feels that a further reduction in cost, and appropriate marketing in the spring of 2013 that underscores the benefits of the marina, will help address the high number of vacancies currently being experienced at the Sorting Gap,” Community Services manager Jason Kabel wrote in a report to council.
He added the slip rental cost at the Sorting Gap already is the least expensive compared to other marinas on Rainy Lake, costing more than $100 less than the cheapest.

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