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New sewer, water rates passed

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Town council passed a bylaw Monday night to impose the new sewer and water user fees for 2009.

As previously reported, the residential sewer and water rate will remain the same as in 2008 at $770.04 per year, or $64.17 per month ($34.09 for water and $30.08 for sewer).

While the minimum sewer and water rates for industrial, commercial, and institutional remain the same at $1,014.96 per year, or $84.85 per month ($44.94 for water and $39.64 for sanitary sewer), the threshold at which ICI customers have to start paying more for water used has been lowered.

The number of cubic metres included in the minimum monthly bill for ICI customers has been reduced to 20 cubic metres a month, or 240 cubic metres a year.

This is down from last year, when 657.60 cubic metres were included per year in the minimum bill for ICI customers.

As well, the volumetric ICI metered rate (the rate paid for water used above the 20 cubic metres a month) will be set at $1.71 ($0.92 for water and $0.79 for sanitary sewer) per cubic metre—an 11.76 percent increase over the 2008 rate of $1.53 per cubic metre.

Meanwhile, the volumetric metered rate per cubic metre for Couchiching First Nation and other non-residential customers will be set at $3.99 per cubic metre, which breaks down to $2.12 per cubic metre for water and $1.87 per cubic metre for sanitary sewer.

The 2008 rate was $3.50 per cubic metre ($1.86 for water and $1.64 for sewer).

As well, the water rates for private fire hydrants will go up from $40 to $42 per month while private sprinklers will increase from $12.54 to $13.17 per month, representing a five percent hike over 2008 rates for both.

Also Monday night, council authorized an Ontario Trillium Fund application for $37,281 to purchase radio frequency identification technology for the new public library and technology centre slated to be built here.

This equipment will enable the library to move to a self-checkout system for literature, as well as free up staff to complete new functions necessary in a modern library and technology centre, Community Services manager George Bell wrote in a report to council.

“It is this investment in technology, along with the move to a single-floor operation, that will enable us to reduce full-time equivalent staff by .5, or 17.5 hours per week,” he noted in the report.

Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:

•approved a report to authorize a change to the Personnel Selection Policy regarding summer students (this change is a clarification that summer students must have completed a full year of post-secondary studies, be returning to studies immediately following their summer employment, and must provide documentation to support they’re going to school);

•authorized a funding application for “Fun in the Sun” Canada Day celebrations;

•approved a tender for the sale and removal of all trees and tree parts from airport property to Wayne George Grading Ltd. of Fort Frances (the town will receive $6,750, GST not included);

•agreed to a recommendation of the Administration and Finance executive committee that no expression of interest be forwarded to the Rainy River District School Board for the disposition of surplus real property (1050 Walker Ave.);

•agreed to buy a table of eight at the Fort Frances “Community Chest” benefit dinner on Sunday, March 1 at La Place Rendez-Vous (this is at a cost of $240);

•approved a travel expense and per diem claim for Mayor Roy Avis in the amount of $162.01 (this is for attendance at the Rainy River District Municipal Association meeting Jan. 31 in Atikokan); and

•approved travel expense and per diem claim for Couns. Andrew Hallikas, Paul Ryan, Sharon Tibbs, and Rick Wiedenhoeft each in the amount of $120 (for attendance at the Rainy River District Municipal Association meeting Jan. 31 in Atikokan).

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