Town budget process almost finished

FORT FRANCES—Town council and administration are getting closer to wrapping up the 2007 municipal budget process, and will start talking seriously about what kind of tax increases—if any—are in store for Fort Frances property owners this year.
“I think we’re at the juncture where we’re getting close to making a serious decision about approving the budget,” Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig said Thursday, adding the next budget meeting is slated for this Monday (April 2) at 4 p.m.
“Now we’re at a point where they will be considering a tax increase.
“I don’t want to pre-suppose what that would be,” McCaig added. “But we’ve gone as far as we can go with cuts to the operating budget. It is what it is now.
“We went back three or four times now with our projections. We’re down as far as we can go there.
“Now, we’re making decisions about capital projects, especially in light of the money we recently received [from] the rural infrastructure fund for the subway,” noted McCaig.
“So, we’re looking at where we’re at with unfinanced capital—projects that are currently unfinanced—and what the implications of a possible tax increase would be related to that unfinanced capital.”
As in past years, McCaig said there will be a public meeting regarding the budget prior to council voting on it. This likely will be held before the end of April.
Last year, taxes for residential ratepayers went up 2.6 percent while commercial-occupied jumped by .85 percent.
Multi-residential increased by 2.87 percent while industrial and large industrial-occupied rose 1.1 percent.