Practice what you preach

To the editor:
There were some comments recently from town council about budget shortfalls for the coming year. According to them, part of the problem is that we, the taxpayers, are questioning our home assessments and getting our property taxes lowered.
As I see it, the problem is not us, the property owners, but town council itself. They are sending our tax dollars to neighbouring communities instead of keeping the money here—and keeping our residents employed.
Take fire dispatch, for example. Currently, our fire department dispatches for the town and most of the neighbouring municipalities in the district. The neighbouring municipalities currently pay a small fee for this service from Fort Frances.
But town council currently is in the process of moving the dispatch services provided by the local fire department to Dryden—to the tune of roughly $100,000 for the first year and about $65,000 every year after that we use Dryden for dispatch.
Our neighbouring communities also will be paying lots more for fire dispatch services.
They offered this fee to our town council to keep the dispatching coming from Fort Frances. They were turned down. Evidently, town council would rather send our tax dollars to Dryden than keep them here—and keep the fire hall staffing at 10 full-time firefighters.
The annual dispatch fee that will be sent to Dryden is almost double what it would cost to hire a fourth-class firefighter.
I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to have my tax dollars stay in Fort Frances.
We are always being told to buy at the local stores and to keep our money in Fort Frances. Too bad the town council, which we made the mistake of electing, doesn’t feel the same way about the property tax dollars we have to give them.
It is a pity that town council doesn’t practice what they preach and that we are the ones that are going to have to pay the price—both in dollars and in fire safety.
A concerned
senior citizen,
Nina Tichoniuk
Fort Frances, Ont.