Thursday, October 23, 2014

Town against lower dam funding

Fort Frances council agreed at its meeting last night to support the Municipality of Wawa’s resolution regarding the reduction of payments under the Power Dam Special Payment Program.
The annual payment for the hydro-electric generating station here, provided by the province, was set to remain at the 2012 level of $350,807.05 for the 2013 and 2014 taxation years.

The 2014 Ontario Budget states that as a result of the province’s review, and in the context of the government’s commitment to manage funding, the Power Dam Payment Program will be phased down to $14.3 million.
As a result, the town will lose $82,544.90 on an annual basis by 2017.
In addition, since 2002, the special payments have not kept pace with the assessment values and corresponding municipal tax rates, resulting in a lost revenue of $922,687.42.
Council will submit a resolution to the provincial government in an effort to reverse the decision to decrease the funding.
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•approved a report authorizing several small corrections be made to Town of Fort Frances Zoning By-Law 3/14;
•received Minutes of Settlement for 1013 Frenette Ave., 945 McKenzie Ave. N., 428 Second St. E. (2014), and 704 Armit Ave. (the total financial impact of these Minutes of Settlement is $881.41, consisting of a reduction of municipal revenue of $786.77 and education revenue of $94.64);
•approved the 2013 Municipal Performance Measurement Program results, which will be published on the town’s website;
•approved a refund of planning fees to A. Boivin in the amount of $1,133.15 (the town will retain $600 to cover zoning amendment application administrative expenses);
•approved a donation, up to a maximum of $950, to the Royal Canadian Legion B. #29 (this is to be used toward the Sept. 10 “Soldiers of Song” touring group performance at the Townshend Theatre in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the beginning of Word War I and the 75th anniversary of the start of Word War II);
•approved a donation request from Sister Kennedy Centre, in the amount of $172.50, toward the Ontario District 1A Senior Games, which were held here June 24-26;
•authorized changes to the Management/Non-Union Benefits Policy report re: repayment of premiums during unpaid leave of absence;
•approved an expense claim for Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft in the amount of $203.12 (this is reimbursement of dinner expenses incurred with Canadian Consulate General Jamshed Merchant);
•agreed to donate $300 to the Watten Volunteer Fire Department fish fry recently held at Sunny Cove;
•awarded Tender 14-OF-03 (supply of a new plow/u-body sand truck and trade-in of 1997 Ford Louisville L8500 single-axle plow/dump truck) to C.C. Poulin Equipment Ltd. at a total cost of $260,148.60 (taxes included);
•approved the adjustment of taxes at 601 King’s Highway (2012, 2013, and 2014) following a public meeting on the matter;
•referred a request from the Sunset Country Travel Association, re: annual per capita marketing contribution, to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•referred a request from James and Barbara Adair, re: water billing, to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for its recommendation;
•passed a bylaw regarding certain property owned by the Corporation of the Town of Fort Frances (Huffman Court), which sets the terms and conditions under which subdivision lots are to be sold;
•passed a bylaw to delegate certain authority to the town’s Chief Administrative Officer (this bylaw only shall come into effect on Sept. 12 if the present council is subject to “lame duck” provisions);
•passed a bylaw to approve an employment agreement with Elizabeth Slomke and for her appointment as municipal clerk for the Town of Fort Frances;
•passed a bylaw to authorize license agreements for purposes of utilization of the town’s geospatial data with Vastamaki Consulting Service and Saulteaux Consulting and Engineering; and
•approved a request from the Fort Frances Lakers Junior ‘A’ hockey team to declare the 2015 Dudley Hewitt Cup (April 28-May 2, 2015) as “a significant community event.”

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