Municipal tax hike on its way

FORT FRANCES—Property owners in all classes will see a tax increase this year after town council passed the 2007 municipal budget at its regular meeting Monday night.
The residential class will see a levy hike of 2.54 percent, which equals a total increase of $44.51 per $100,000 of assessment on that property, said Information Technology manager Darryl Allan, who gave a presentation at Monday night’s meeting breaking down various aspects of the budget.
Multi-residential stands to see a hike of 2.79 percent ($109.47 per $100,000 of assessment) while commercial taxes will go up 0.83 percent ($46.55 per $100,000).
The industrial levy will increase 1.09 percent ($52.55 per $100,000) while large industrial will go up 1.09 percent ($95.83 per $100,000).
And the pipeline property class tax rate will jump by 1.91 percent, or $112.26 per $100,000 of assessment.
The 2007 budget is balanced at $21,210,124—$446,290 more than in 2006.
The budget also includes a user fee schedule, which town council had approved earlier in the year. This saw an average increase of two percent.
Back in March, a water and sewer rate increase of two percent had been approved by council, with a continued view as to “how new provincial regulations will impact rates in the future” and “what rates will be necessary to sustain and maintain the existing system as well as provide for the replacement of the town’s aging infrastructure,” noted Allan.
Council voted unanimously in favour of adopting the 2007 budget.
The public was invited to attend this meeting to make written or oral presentations either in support of or against the budget proposal, but no one did so.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•heard a police services activity report for the first quarter of 2007 from OPP detachment commander Insp. Dave Lucas;
•approved a break-open ticket licence application from the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau at the Makabi Inn from May 1, 2007-April 30, 2008;
•approved a break-open ticket licence application from Friends of Little League at Sparky’s Confectionery from April 24, 2007-Oct. 23, 2007;
•agreed to proclaim May as “Salvation Army Red Shield Month” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•referred a financial request from the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce regarding the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce (NOACC) annual fall general meeting on Sept. 27-29 to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•agreed to proclaim June as “Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•passed a bylaw to establish a restructured committee of adjustment;
•passed a bylaw to adopt the estimates of all sums required for all municipal purposes during the year 2007; and
•passed a bylaw to designate Lots 22 and 23, Plan SM-69 (902 Crowe Ave.)