Council to vote on ’08 budget

Whether or not the proposed 2008 municipal budget, and the tax increases that will go along with it, will be approved will be decided at tonight’s regular meeting of town council.
Pursuant to the requirement of the Municipal Act, a public meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., prior to council voting to adopt the budget, at which time local residents can make written or oral presentations to council either in support of, or in opposition to, the budget proposal.
As in recent years, Information and Technology manager Darryl Allan will provide a PowerPoint presentation at tonight’s meeting to help explain to the public the 2008 budget and the many factors affecting it.
As previously reported, council voted unanimously at its April 28 meeting in favour of a tax scenario that will see residential tax rates jump 3.19 percent, or $57.16 per $100,000 of assessment.
Multi-residential will go up 3.496 percent (or $140.57 per $100,000 of assessment) while commercial will increase 1.071 percent (or $58.92 per $100,000 of assessment).
Industrial rates will go up 1.376 percent ($66.51 per $100,000 of assessment) while large industrial would jump 1.377 percent ($121.28 per $100,000 of assessment).
Pipeline will increase 2.422 percent ($144.17 per $100,000 of assessment).
Other business at tonight’s meeting will include:
•a presentation from paramedic Chris Wielinga regarding changes to the current retirement age for paramedics;
•a break-open ticket licence from the Rainycrest Auxiliary at the 364 Store from June 16-Dec. 15, 2008;
•a request from North Air Service to increase current meter rates;
•a letter from W. Dirk regarding the condition of the roadway in front of 315 Butler Ave.;
•a request for permission from Melvin Haukaas to place a windmill at his parents’ grave marker;
•a request to proclaim June, 2008 as “Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•a bylaw to adopt the estimate of all sums required for all municipal purposes during the year 2008;
•a bylaw to approve a municipal response agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources with respect to human/black bear conflict management;
•a bylaw to approve amendments to an agreement with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. for financing of a Heritage Tourism Project under the Infrastructure and Community Development Program; and
•three separate bylaws to designate two separate lots at each of the following addresses be merged and deemed as one lot to permit the construction of either an addition to the existing dwelling or an accessory building (906 Smith Ave., 925 Cornwall Ave. N., and 1132 Church St.)
The committee of the whole will meet first downstairs at the Civic Centre at 5:30 p.m., but it is expected to be in-camera until 7.
The regular council meeting will follow at 7:30.