Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Town to explain budget

As tax bills make their way to property owners in the mail, the town will present its 2014 budget for the public during tonight’s meeting.
Treasurer Laurie Witherspoon will explain the budget process, outline sources of revenue and what the town’s expenses are, as well as compare uncontrollable costs from 2013 with those in 2014.

She also will provide a taxation summary, and what it means to particular assessments in residential and other classes.
“The purpose of the meeting is to let the public know how the town is financed, how their tax dollars are applied, what they’re paying for, that sort of thing,” noted Witherspoon.
As previously reported, council approved the required bylaws to adopt the budget earlier this month, and authorize the levy and collection of taxes, so administration could go ahead and get the final tax bills printed and mailed out.
Tax bills should be received this week, with payments due on July 31 and Aug. 29.
Tonight’s agenda also will include the presentation of a draft of the town’s 2013 audited financial statements by J. Savage and J. Evans of BDO Canada LLP.
There also will be an economic development activities report from Geoff Gillon of the Rainy River Future Development Corp., along with a public update on the emergency flooding situation in town.
Other business on the agenda includes:
•a recommendation re: a zoning amendment application from Al and Bernice Boivin;
•a recommendation re: a request from Connie Kress (1029 Portage Ave.) to have her water bill reduced;
•a recommendation re: a request from the Rainy River Substance Abuse Prevention Team;
•a recommendation re: a request from F. Brown (951 Sixth St. W.) to have his water bills adjusted;
•the awarding of tender 14-OF-07 (surface treatment of roadways at various locations within the Town of Fort Frances);
•a geospatial data licence agreement with Vastamaki Consulting Service and Saulteaux Consulting & Engineering;
•a five-year energy conservation and demand management plan;
•a recommendation re: a request by William and Kristi Albright to purchase a portion of laneway abutting their property at 755 Thompson St.;
•a recommendation re: a request for the installation of signage at the exit of Canada Customs to direct tourists to the tourism information centre;
•a recommendation re: a request by Summit Telecom/TbayTel request for concurrence of the erection/installation of a proposed telecommunication tower at 250 Church St.;
•the 2013 child care audited statement of revenue and expenses;
•a recommendation re: a request to partner with Fort Frances Community Garden Planning Committee for the purpose of making an application to the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Fund to obtain a grant to improve the community garden;
•a recommendation to have the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing declare the Town of Frances as a “disaster area” for the purposes of the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program;
•an agreement with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to allow for the town to recover costs associated with being a host community for Attawapiskat FN;
•a request from R. Parker, owner/manager of Mr. Sub, re: water and sewer charges during the winter of 2014; and
•a request from J. Tillbury, organizer of the second-annual “Splash and Dash” event to be held Aug. 17.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:25 p.m.
The committee of the whole will meet first at 5:30 p.m., but be in-camera (behind closed doors) until 5:50 p.m.

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