Among the hundreds of items on the proposed new user fee schedule before town council as part of the 2004 budget, one that will be an additional cost to all Fort Frances homeowners is the 23 percent jump in water and sewer rates, which will be retroactive to Jan. 1.
For residents, this hike will see the current water rate of $19.08 and sewer rate of $25.18 (for a combined monthly rate of $44.26) go up to $23.47 and $30.97, respectively (for a combined monthly rate of $54.44).
It also will mean a bill for $10.18 for each month retroactive to January that will be billed to residents (most likely about $30).
One local woman—Dianne Gohn—doesn’t like it one bit.
“I think it’s absolutely terrible,” she remarked yesterday evening during a phone interview.
“I’m not speaking only for myself, but for families, and for anyone that’s on a fixed income, whether it be disability or whatever,” Gohn added. “That’s a lot of money.
“When it takes the majority of your cheque to pay for the rent every month, it’s hard to pay any extra cost that come up,” she said.
Gohn noted she’d like to see the public, particularly those who can’t afford such an increase, to contact the Civic Centre before council votes on the user fee schedule as expected on March 31.
“I think we have a nice town. I think we have a lot to be thankful for,” noted Gohn, adding “it’s just sad” the town is has built up such a deficit and that it has to shoulder downloaded services from the provincial government.