New user fees to be voted on tomorrow

Town council will discuss the 2004 capital budget and the proposed Kiwanis skate park, as well as vote on the new user fee schedule, during a special committee of the whole meeting tomorrow at noon at the Civic Centre.
Acting CAO Mark McCaig said late yesterday that council and management are making progress on the budget, but it looks like the town won’t be passing it by March 31 as Mayor Dan Onichuk previously had suggested was possible.
Two significant factors council still has to consider in this year’s budget is the town’s liability for the River Walk Condominiums as well as an increase in the levy for Rainycrest Home for the Aged anticipated to occur in June.
While most recent numbers indicate home owners will see a 15.25 percent tax increase, along with higher user fees, McCaig said it’s unknown at this time whether that tax hike could go higher.
Council should have more information on the Rainycrest levy increase after a Rainycrest board meeting tomorrow morning.
McCaig noted other municipalities in the region, as well as right across Ontario, “are no farther ahead of us” in finalizing their 2004 budgets, adding many of them are facing many of the same budget problems (e.g., growing costs for downloaded services like public health, among others).
The capital budget and new user fee schedule are scheduled to be discussed tomorrow from noon until 12:10 p.m.
The proposed skate park is scheduled to be discussed in-camera from about 12:10-12:30 p.m.
McCaig noted management has been directed by council to come up with a list of conditions the skate park committee must meet before the town will consider giving it “bridge funding” to help build the $250,000 project.
After this, a special council meeting will be called in order to vote on any resolutions stemming from the committee of the whole meeting.
Council also will give third reading to the proposed user fee schedule tomorrow and then vote on whether to pass it. First and second readings were held at the March 22 council meeting.