Bag tag, landfill fees set to go up

Increased costs for bag tags and landfill tipping will be part of the new user fee schedule town council will be voting to adopt at tonight’s regular meeting.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said this morning that if the new fee schedule is passed, the cost of bag tags will increase from $1 to $1.50 starting April 1.
Meanwhile the minimum tipping fee at the landfill will go from $12 to $14 while the rate per tonne will jump from $46.41 to $50.
Brown said the increases are part of a four-year plan to see the town’s waste management system become self-funded through user fees, and not subsidized by taxation.
Altogether, the fee increases are expected to generate an extra $36,000 in revenue for the town, which will go back into the waste management program ($12,000 from bag tags and $24,000 from the tipping fees).
Brown noted the fee increases bring Fort Frances in line with what Dryden and Kenora charge for these services. For example, Dryden charges a minimum tipping fee of $14 and $70 per tonne while Kenora charges $15 and $80, respectively.
He added although the waste management fee increases are part of a four-year plan, bag tags will not go up again next year.
As the fee schedule was being drawn up, Brown noted administration had proposed to council that the cost of bag tags stay at $1 but residents lose their one free container.
But council spoke strongly in favour of keeping the free container, and instead raising the cost to $1.50 each.
Aside from the waste management costs, most other user fees will go up an average of two percent, primarily to keep pace with inflation, town treasurer Laurie Witherspoon said this morning.
This has been the trend for the past two years.
Some of the fees will go into effect immediately while others (such as airport fees, ice surface rentals, and day care rates) won’t kick in until May or June.
Notice of tonight’s public meeting regarding the new user fee schedule was published in the March 12 edition of the Daily Bulletin.
Being a public meeting, local residents can attend and make a written or verbal presentation in support of, or in opposition to, the proposed fee schedule.
Council approved the proposed user fee schedules from the various divisions and authorized the clerk to prepare a bylaw at a special meeting March 7.
Tonight’s council meeting is scheduled to start at 7:25 p.m. It will be preceded by the committee of the whole, which will meet at 5:30 but be in-camera until 7.
Other business at tonight’s meeting will include:
•a presentation from Jeff Trudeau, project manager for American Water Canada Corp., regarding the Fort Frances wastewater treatment facility;
•a request from the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship for financial and in-kind support for the 2007 bass tourney slated July 22-28;
•a letter from Allan G. Robertson regarding a laneway in the vicinity of 211 Third St. W.;
•a request from Gerald and Dorothy Hinrichs for permission to build a backyard fence eight feet in height (this height exceeds the town’s fence height restriction);
•a request from the Ontario Forestry Coalition for support of a resolution regarding proposed “Species at Risk” legislation;
•a bylaw to amend Bylaw 10/03 (traffic control bylaw) to provide for a prohibited parking space on the north side of the 900 block of First St. E.;
•a bylaw to amend Bylaw 16/06 (water system management bylaw) in order to change the town’s policy regarding shutting of water valves to vacant properties;
•a bylaw to authorize the entering into of a collective agreement with the Fort Frances Professional Firefighters Association; and
•a bylaw to approve a fire management agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources.