Administration and Finance manager Darryl Allan said Monday that Fort Frances residents can expect a slight delay in their notice of the second 2002 tax levy.
“With the transition from the old to the new computer system, there’s been a problem,” Allan noted, referring to the $400,000 overhaul of both hardware and software to the town’s computer system, which was last installed in 1991.
“The tax program is fine. It’s the link to the general ledger system where there’s the problem,” he added.
“Provincial regulations say the municipality has to have the notices out 21 days prior to the due date,” Allan said. “We would have had them out last Thursday or Friday, but the last thing we want to do is send out a tax bill with an error.”
Allan said the problem has been identified and the software company is working on it. As such, tax bills should be received within the next couple of weeks, and are due at the end of September and the end of October.
After much discussion in both the 2001 and 2002 budget process, the $400,000 computer overhaul began in February. Allan noted the new hardware and software installation is complete, with only a few minor problems being worked out of the system.
Municipal staff had undergone some computer and Internet training so far, and are slated to have more sessions in the fall.
Meanwhile, as first reported in yesterday’s Daily Bulletin, council on Monday night approved a citizen satisfaction survey, which commenced today.
This survey, which will gauge about 160 residents’ opinions of municipal services from snow removal to recreation, will be conducted over the phone. It takes about 15-20 minutes to complete, and everyone is encouraged to respond if they’re called.
Also Monday night, council passed a bylaw to amend the smoking ban in buildings and vehicles under the town’s jurisdiction (this exempts the ban from events that were booked at town facilities, such as the Memorial Sports Centre, prior to July 22).
While Coun. Struchan Gilson, a strong proponent of banning smoking entirely within the town’s jurisdiction, voted in favour of this, he asked fellow councillors, “Why would you vote for this when you don’t vote for the town to ban smoking?”
“I strongly agree it’s a health issue and would like to see everyone go smoke-free,” responded Coun. Roy Avis. “But it’s not up to us to tell tax-paying businesses what to do.”
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•awarded a tender to SM Industries Ltd. to provide asphalt crack sealing on municipal roads and the airport runway for $1.75/metre plus GST (the total project will cost about $175,000);
•awarded a tender for water distribution system network analysis to Earth Tech for $24,610;
•awarded a tender for Phase II of municipal road works to Lafarge Materials & Construction Inc. for $669,069.96;
•approved an agreement with Lakeland Personnel regarding crossing guards during the school year;
•accepted a summary of the results from Household Hazardous Waste Day 2002 from Rainy River First Nations (these results previously were published in the July 24 edition of the Times);
•referred an invitation from American Water Services to participate in a golf tournament at Kitchen Creek Golf Club on Sept. 10 to the Operations and Facilities executive committee;
•passed a bylaw approving a contract with George Armstrong Co. Ltd. for road reconstruction;
•agreed to a request from the Kenora District Credit Union Chapter to make Oct. 17 as Credit Union Day, and proclaim Oct. 13-19 as Co-op Week; and
•approved all information correspondence for the month of July.