A bylaw to implement a two percent increase in sewer and water rates for all classes will be drawn up after council voted 4-1 in favour of it Monday night.
While Couns. John Albanese, Roy Avis, Tannis Drysdale, and Neil Kabel voted in favour of the hike, Mayor Dan Onichuk did not, citing the increase does nothing to address the fact residential and some commercial customers are unfairly continuing to subsidize large water users.
The mayor opposed a 10 percent across-the-board jump last year for that very same reason.
The new rates will not come into effect until council votes on the bylaw. A public meeting regarding the rate hikes will be held Monday, Feb. 13—just prior to council voting on this bylaw to implement the increase.
The rationale for the increase was so that sewer and water projects for the year ahead would not have to be funded through reserves.
Also at Monday night’s regular meeting, council forwarded a zoning bylaw amendment application from Loblaw Properties West Inc. to municipal planner Faye Flatt for processing.
The application is to rezone property in the west end of town from M2 (heavy industrial) and C3 (highway commercial) to C2 (general commercial) to allow for a retail grocery store and gas bar to be built there.
This property is located on King’s Highway, just east of Wal-Mart.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•passed a bylaw to hire Laurie Witherspoon as treasurer for the Town of Fort Frances (Witherspoon, who was hired as a treasury assistant back in May, 2003, was named deputy treasurer after Peggy Dupuis resigned in November);
•received a presentation on business marketing from Bill Boulton of the Northwest Midwest Alliance;
•received a presentation from Donna Anderson regarding an Provincial Offences Administration activity update;
•agreed to a request from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario to proclaim February, 2006 as “Heart Month” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•agreed to a request from the Kenora-Rainy River District Easter Seal Society to proclaim March, 2006 as “Easter Seals Month” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•referred a request from the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board regarding property tax exemption to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation; and
•referred a letter from John Myers of McDonald’s Restaurant regarding water placement at 831 King’s Highway to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for its recommendation.