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User fees to jump

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But bag tags staying same

Most user fees will be going up in the new year after town council approved a schedule at a special meeting yesterday afternoon.

Every division took a thorough look at the user fees prior to the committee of the whole meeting, and the majority of them will be hiked by three percent as per the Consumer Price Index.

For the most part, the exceptions are fees that otherwise are legislated (like lottery licences) or those that are reflective of cost recovery at the present rate and don’t need to be changed.

Most of the new user fees will kick in Jan. 1 although some others, such as those for the Memorial Sports Centre, won’t come into effect until June 1 because ice rental fees, for instance, already have been contracted out for the 2011-12 season.

As well, the new user fee rates do not include sewer and water rates.

These will be looked at separately in the new year, with the aim to have the 2012 sewer and water rates set before the end of February.

The 2012 user fee schedule now will come forth as a bylaw to be finalized by at a future council meeting.

The majority of user fees for 2011 were hiked by 1.7 percent.

In related news, council voted 4-3 in favour of bags tags staying at $2 for a second-straight year as opposed to going up to $2.25.

Residents also will continue to receive one “free” bag of garbage for pickup each week.

But tipping fees at the local landfill will be going up. The minimum charge will jump from $16 to $18 while the per tonnage rate will climb from $64 to $65.

The reason for the increase is the town needs to move towards waste management becoming a self-sustaining utility, generating enough revenue to pay for itself rather than continue to be subsidized through taxation.

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