Council to pass budget tonight

Duane Hicks

The entire 2010 budget will be explained at a public meeting tonight, after which time town council will vote on bylaws to pass the estimates and accompanying tax rates to support the municipal levy.
During a budget meeting last month, council voted in favour of a long-term debt financing scenario, which, among other tax changes, would see residential taxpayers face a tax levy increase of 3.07 percent.
This is equivalent to a net tax dollar increase over last year of $8.73 per $100,000 of assessment.
Due to a decrease in the education levy, as well as changes in the assessed values for various property classes, some classes (i.e., commercial, industrial, large industrial, and pipeline) will see an increase in levy but a decrease in the amount of dollars paid.
With this tax scenario, the town is looking to generate $314,500 to both pay for an operating budget deficit of $197,270 and $117,232 for the principal and interest on long-term debt.
The operating deficit currently is $130,044, but last month council opted to include an extra $67,226 in case operating costs go up after ongoing contract negotiations with firefighters and town staff are finalized.
The public portion of tonight’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. at the Civic Centre.
The committee of the whole will meet in-camera first starting at 5:30.
Other business on tonight’s agenda includes:
•a report in response to a letter from Causeway General Insurance Brokers re: the Rainy Lake Hotel;
•a report in response to a request re: land for the community garden;
•a request from the MNR and Service Ontario for amendment to By-Law 10/03 (Traffic Control Bylaw);
•endorsement of an airport emergency plan;
•Tender 10-OF-07 (the supply of one half-ton four-door truck and one all-wheel drive, multi-purpose, multi-passenger vehicle);
•a report regarding reduced semi-annual testing of lead-water distribution system;
•a report regarding a sanitary sewer line at 606 Second St. W.;
•a report regarding the warranty inspection of the water tower;
•a financial request re: RBC Financial Group & Riverside Foundation for Health Care Charity Golf Classic;
•2010 capping parameters for capped properties;
•the 2010 Downtown BIA budget;
•a report in response to a Downtown BIA request for assistance with in-kind operational services;
•a report re: a museum operating grant;
•Tender No. 10-OF-09 (rehabilitation of Caul Bridge);
•a verbal update from Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown re: current local projects;
•a report re: Sign By-Law 19/10, as well as a presentation from M. Belluz regarding this bylaw;
•a report re: terms of reference for the Economic Development Advisory Committee;
•a letter of resignation from Russell Ling from the Downtown BIA board of directors, effective immediately;
•a bylaw to approve an amendment to an agreement with FedNor for financing of the purchase of technology equipment for the new technology centre to be housed in the new Fort Frances Public Library;
•a bylaw to approve a contract awarded to Pioneer Construction re: Tender No. 10-OF-03–asphalt patching for 2010-12;
•an advertising request from the Fort Frances Times re: a special physician appreciation supplement;
•a request from the Fort Frances Aquanaut Swim Team re: season sponsorship;
•a letter from the Northwestern Health Unit re: extended hours of alcohol sales for the 2010 FIFA World Cup;
•a letter of support for public transportation; and
•volunteer recognition for Paul Bock.