Residents to face higher user fees

Duane Hicks

Most user fees will be going up in the new year after town council approved a schedule at last night’s meeting.
Town treasurer Laurie Witherspoon said every division took a thorough look at the user fees, and the majority of them will be hiked by 1.7 percent.
For the most part, the exceptions are fees that otherwise are legislated (like lottery licences) or fees that are reflective of cost recovery at the present rate and don’t need to be changed.
Witherspoon also added user fee rates do not include sewer and water rates.
Rather, these will be looked at separately in the new year, with the aim to have the 2011 sewer and water rates set by March.
Council approved the 2011 user fee schedule last night, which now will come forth as a bylaw to finalized at a future meeting.
In related news, council last night approved a report to amend the user fee bylaw to now include requests for information relevant to building permit activity, work orders, or occupancy permits.
Council also approved a report to amend the user fee bylaw to include fees for placement of a mobile sign on a property within town limits.
This is in line with the new sign bylaw council had passed back in August.
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•heard a Rainy River Future Development Corp. activity report by economic development advisor Geoff Gillon;
•heard a presentation by northern development advisor Jane Gillon regarding the role of the regional economic development branch and various programs, services, and resources available to municipal councils and their communities through the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry;
•referred a request from Walter Cunningham re: a potential property acquisition to the Planning and Development executive committee for its recommendation, with input from the Operations and Facilities executive committee;
•referred a Strategic Directions Action Plan from the Economic Development Advisory Committee to the strategic planning process;
•supported a resolution passed by the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association re: public consultation on caribou habitat regulations;
•passed a bylaw to assume, stop up, and close, for the purpose of selling, part of a north-south lane south of Fifth Street East, north of the CN right-of-way between Portage Avenue and McKenzie Avenue North, and the part of McKenzie Avenue North, south of Fifth Street East and north of the CN right-of-way;
•passed a bylaw to approve a contract for operations of the municipal landfill with Tom Veert Contracting; and
•passed a bylaw for the purpose of approving the minutes of the current council.
The winner of the Local Government Week (Oct. 17-23) essay contest, Grade 5 Robert Moore student Daymond Morrisseau, did not appear at last night’s meeting to read his essay.
Clerk Glenn Treftlin said a gift certificate will be forwarded to him through the school to thank him for his essay.