‘Bag tags’ a money grab

To the editor:
Yes, I voted for 98 percent of the new council and to the best of my knowledge, they have done well to this point in time. I believe in municipal taxation, and I also think they did a good job in getting the budget to where they finally decided and passed it at the council meeting May 10.
I watched it on Shaw Cable, with no rebuttal or outcry from the public. I think the council should thank the ratepayers for showing their respect to council thus far.
However, myself, I think the budget could have or would have passed at the higher rate, possibly 14 percent. You had your chance to try it.
I would like for people to look back to the Daily Bulletin of April 27, 2004 (Volume 73, No. 113). Mayor Onichuk said, and I quote from the paper, “an 11.7 percent increase is a bit taxing on people, no pun intended, but we’re not going to be coming back looking for a 10 or 11 percent increase next year unless come catastrophic thing happens in the Town of Fort Frances.”
Also, again in the May 10 edition of the Times, that same quote was re-printed.
Well, Mr. Mayor and council, the catastrophic is here! I am referring to the proposed changes to our garbage collection.
How did this idea get here? Did it come from Marathon, Ont. via Mr. Doug Brown? I have talked to friends in Marathon, and they said the only reason they are crying is the garbage bag tags are still there—and they hate them with a passion.
For the past 100 years (60 years that I know of for sure), Mr. Cunningham was contracted to pick up and haul the garbage. It’s been contracted out for one- to five-year terms to several contractors to this date.
Councillors and mayor, I and the taxpayers are aware the garbage pickup, hauling, etc. has always been in our tax base. This was calculated into your new budget for 2004/05. Please remember your quote to the taxpayers! It hasn’t been a month yet.
Councillors, who is trying to push this bag tag business on the people and trying to make it law for generations to come. If you, council, do this before the end of your new budget, would this not be a form of invoice double paying for the same service.
How could it or would it be legal to do such a thing? Who is thinking this up? Or does council intend to restructure the budget or possibly hand out a lot of credit slips for overpayments?
I am not in favour of your way of thinking. First, it does not coincide with the majority of other towns. For example, Thunder Bay lets you put three regular green bags on the curb, not necessarily in a container. Weight is no problem (well over 40 pounds). The cost is in their taxation.
However, if you put out four bags, they will always leave the fourth one on the curb. This is called bag control!
In Atikokan, our friends say they can put out two regular green bags free. If you put out three bags, you must have a bag tag on the third one only! No 40-pound weight problem.
If you live in Emo, they would like only two bags but will take three at times.
Dryden was at $1 per bag, now it’s $1.50 per bag. No weight problem. Garbage bag tags at $1 each is strictly a money grab and just says if you got the money, we’ll look after your garbage.
If you’re really interested in separating the garbage and the recycling, for the good of all, have one or two bags per week at no charge. This would be recycling and waste control.
Garbage containers—yes, what size? How many come with extra lids? Or can you even buy extra lids? How long do they stay on? A week or two? How much time does it take the collector to remove and replace lids, and will all employees do this?
A few years back, the town gave out free recycle boxes, all with no lids. How much paper and light plastic blew around? Yes, I do believe some lanes, curbs could be kept better, but we don’t need garbage bag tags to do this.
Councillors and mayor, how many garbage disposals will be installed so this waste can be flushed down the sink, or some may use the old standby in the bathroom. What about the extra load on the water treatment plant, plus the sewage treatment plant?
Do you think its cheaper to have it go into the plants, which are already over-loaded? Our housing development is at a standstill with over-loaded sewers and larger plants required.
Is our new council going to stand up like a team and think with their heads and hearts and vote no to garbage bag tags, or are you just going to let a few push you council members into saying yes we love garbage bag tags.
You asked for our comments and the above are mine.
Thank you,
Donald E. Christian
Fort Frances, Ont.