Council eyeing hike for sewer, water rates

Duane Hicks

With the aim to bolster its coffers to help pay for future projects, the town is looking at a sewer and water rate hike for 2011.
Town council will receive a report on water and sewer rates at tonight’s regular meeting, which indicates a 3.7 percent overall increase in revenue over last year.
According to the report, residential rates could go up two percent, which works out to an extra $15.71 per year per household (the total sewer and water bill for residents in 2011 will be $801.11, up from $785.40 in 2010).
The flat rate for industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) customers will remain the same ($1,015.20) while the volumetric ICI metered rate (the rate paid for water used above the 215 cubic metres a year) could go up eight percent—from $2 to $2.16 per cubic metre.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said this morning the rates are based on a 3.7 percent revenue target set by council, which would amount to $153,895 in additional revenues to sock away.
As discussed at its budget meeting Jan. 31, council has expressed a need to put more money away for future projects, such as the replacement of infrastructure.
Brown noted the town is proposing $2.9 million worth of capital work in 2011, with $1.7 million supported through water and sewer rates and the other $1.2 million coming from reserves.
The public portion of tonight’s meeting is scheduled to start at 6:20 p.m.
The committee of the whole will meet in-camera first starting at 5:30 p.m.
Other business on the agenda tonight includes:
•a report regarding a janitorial contract for OPP/Civic Centre (Tender No. 11-CS-01);
•a report regarding the existing playground equipment (climber) at the old Huffman School property;
•a report regarding a review of residential “blue box” waste recycling strategies;
•a report regarding a request from Travis and Shanna Weir re: waiver of sewer main repair costs in front of 1108 Victoria Ave. N.;
•a sponsorship request from the Fort Frances Curling Club re: the NOCA senior provincial playdowns;
•a Community Broadcasting Services advertising request;
•per diem claims for Mayor Roy Avis and Couns. John Albanese, Andrew Hallikas, Ken Perry, Paul Ryan, and Rick Wiedenhoeft;
•a report regarding the OPP 9-1-1 Central Emergency Reporting Bureau (CERB) service agreement renewal;
•a report regarding a fire dispatch agreement with the Kenora Central Ambulance Communication Centre (CACC).
•a report regarding policing costs;
•a report regarding District Social Services Administration Board uploaded costs;
•a financial request from the Economic Development Advisory Committee re: Fort Frances/district partnership for the long-term purchase of the events tent;
•additional correspondence from J. Steinke re: handicapped parking at the Memorial Sports Centre;
•a financial request from the Rainy River Future Development Corp. re: a readerboard at the border (Gateway Project).
•a bylaw to amend By-Law 10/03 (the traffic control bylaw) to remove reduced speed zones in the vicinity of the now-closed Huffman School and provide for a reduced speed limit on Gillon Street and in the arena parking lot;
•a bylaw to authorize a lease with respect to certain municipal property at 501 Sixth St. W.;
•a bylaw to authorize execution of a renewal lease agreement with the Ontario Realty Corp. for space in the Civic Centre for OPP services;
•a bylaw to authorize an agreement for the provision of a public transportation system for the physically disabled within the Town of Fort Frances;
•a bylaw to approve a contract with Lakeside Process Controls Ltd. for support services re: Emerson Process Management Control System installed at the wastewater and water treatment plants;
•a bylaw to approve an agreement with DataFix for web hosting services for purposes of Municipal VoterView;
•a bylaw to authorize the entering into of certain lease agreements at the Fort Frances Municipal Airport;
•a request for support from the Rainy River Future Development Corp. re: a district-wide strategic plan;
•a request for a letter of support from the Northern Community Development Services Transition Centre re: continued provision of services and programs by NCDS Career Works; and
•a request from the Northwest Training and Adjustment Board re: a municipal appointment.