Council passes new user fee schedule

Duane Hicks

Town council held a public meeting regarding the adoption of the 2009 user fee schedule last night, and after receiving no comments from the public, it later passed the bylaw to implement them.
As previously reported, Fort Frances residents will see a three percent jump for most user fees (ranging from business licences to photocopying fees), with a greater hike for waste management services, in the coming year.
The cost of bag tags will rise from $1.50 to $1.75 (16.76 percent) while there will be a 12 percent hike to tipping fees at the landfill.
This will affect the rate per tonne (which will rise from $53.57 to $60), as well as other rates (such as the cost of disposing tires and refrigerators) and the flat rates for various vehicles (such as half-tons, mid-size trucks, and full-size vans, singe-axle trucks, tandem trucks, and garbage trucks) when the weigh scale is not in operation.
The 12 percent increase does not, however, affect the charge for passenger vehicles, mini-vans, and SUVs when the weigh scale is not in operation, nor the minimum charge for when it is in operation—both of which will remain at $15.
Meanwhile, non-residents also will have to pay a little bit more to use recreational facilities here in the new year after the 2009 user fee schedule was amended to charge a 25 percent premium on the annual membership to use the ice surfaces, pool, and fitness centre at the Memorial Sports Centre.
This is an increase of five percent over the current 20 percent premium, increasing the non-resident membership rate from $519 to $540.
As well, the Fort Frances Public Library board agreed to raise the annual non-resident fee from $55 to $72 to reflect the actual cost per household for library services, and this is included in the 2009 user fee schedule.
Council voted 6-1 in favour of passing the bylaw, with Coun. Ken Perry being the lone dissenter.
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•approved a report to award a fire and rescue communications contract to Centre Ambulance Communications Centre in Kenora at a $40 per call fee and authorize the purchase of five portable communication units at a total cost of $25,000;
•approved a report to award janitorial contracts to Nicholson’s Janitorial Services for the museum, Civic Centre, and library, McCoy Cleaning for the OPP offices, and Pitrowski Cleaning for the Children’s Complex, and Courtesy Cleaning for the Public works office (these all are for one year, with an option to renew for one year);
•approved an access to recreation policy;
•approved a report to the temporary close Cross-Runway 3/21 and Taxi Bravo at the airport from Dec. 23, 2008-May 1, 2009 due to the fact the runways need repairs (this will not affect current traffic);
•accepted the November, 2008 drinking water systems monthly summary report;
•approved a report to approve the change of capital financing for the fire pumper truck ($284,707) from the 2008 long-term debt capital budget to financing from the Administration and Finance surplus reserve fund (this will reduce the operating budget for emergency measures long-term debt principal interest by $39,000 or about .5 percent for the residential tax class);
•agreed to a recommendation from the Administration and Finance executive committee that a BIA request for a yearly electrical credit be granted up to a limit of $500 and the grant be applied for on an annual basis;
•agreed to have representatives attend the Zone 1 meeting of the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards here Jan. 21-23;
•authorized a $50 donation to the Police Services Board to purchase a prize for its upcoming Zone 1 OASPB semi-annual meeting;
•agreed to write letters of support for the Loncar family for immigration purposes;
•agreed to a rceommendation of the Administration and Finance executive committee to invite the Fort Frances Community Clinic to contribute monetarily and receive full voting member status, and have the administrator and a board representative present at all doctor recruitment and retention committee meetings;
•agreed to a recommendation of the Administration and Finance executive committee to remove the $5,000 first year incentive and $10,0000 second year incentive from the physician recruitment package and extend the quality of life package amenities to a third year should the physician continue to practice in Fort Frances;
•approved a travel expense and per diem claim for Coun. Sharon Tibbs in the amount of $87 (this was for attendance at the Regional Economic Development Committee meeting held Dec. 2 in Emo);
•agreed to a request to proclaim January as “Crime Stoppers Month” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•referred a letter from the Rainy River District School Board regarding the disposition of surplus real property (this is an offering to sell the town properties at 1050 Walker Ave., as well as in Miscampbell and Carpenter, to the Administration and Finance executive committee for recommendation);
•passed a bylaw to approve the minutes of council for 2008;
•held a public meeting regarding a proposed zoning bylaw amendment to accommodate the development of a solid wood waste recycle operation on property located in the industrial park. A bylaw will be considered at the Jan. 12, 2009 meeting of council; and
•held a public meeting regarding the proposed amendment to the Town of Fort Frances Community Improvement Plan to add new programs to the financial incentive plan, and subsequently passed a bylaw to make the amendment.