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Tax bills on way in June

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The $35.9-million municipal budget for 2018 received final approval from town council last night, with bills to be sent out at the end of June.

Tax payments will be due on July 31 and Aug. 31.

Council approved the 2018 budget, and passed all relevant bylaws, at its meeting last night.

As reported last month, the tax rates have decreased anywhere from 2.3-3.8 percent, depending on the property class.

For example, the tax rate for residential properties has gone down two percent.

This means many tax bills will be lower this year but not all of them.

Those properties that went up in assessment last year will go up again this year as part of a four-year phase-in while those that had a reduction last year will see their taxes stay the same or go down slightly.

Copies of the budget are available at the Civic Centre front desk, as well as online at www.fortfrances.ca

Also at last night's meeting, council:

  • received a presentation from Fort High teacher Jody Bonner-Vicker's Grade 8 class regarding a storm drain stencil initiative it will be undertaking on May 30 along the riverfront (this is the second year her class has participated in the cross-border project to raise awareness of the keeping the local watershed clean);
  • denied a request for a private driveway entrance to be located on the closed roadway of “Balsam Street,” and further recommended a private entrance be applied for through Public Works and installed off the fronting roadway (McIrvine Road) if the property owners request an entrance to their property;
  • agreed to a recommendation to ensure a bill for thawing a frozen water line at a residence on Feb. 18 remain and that no further action be taken;
  • approved the adjustment of 2017 taxes, under Section 357/358 of the Municipal Act, for property located at 700 Scott St. due to the conversion of prior commercial space to residential apartments;
  • approved a recommendation to have Commercial Credit Adjusters Ltd. provide debt recovery services for the collection of Provinces Offences Act fines that are due and unpaid;
  • approved a recommendation to advertise the town's revitalization grant in 2018 to include sewer and water installation, as well as list sewer and water installation as an eligible rebate through the revitalization grant;
  • passed a bylaw to approve a funding agreement be executed re: “Connecting Link” program funding for the Mill Road overpass reconstruction project;
  • passed a bylaw to approve an agreement with Sunset Protect Systems for a three-year term for the provision of fire protection and prevention services (checking fire extinguishers, testing alarms, etc.), with an option to extend for an additional three years;
  • passed a bylaw to approve a funding agreement re: Canada Summer Jobs Program to hire a GIS/engineering summer student; and
  • awarded a tender to Makkinga Contracting at an estimated cost of $3.348 million for 2018 road works.
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