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municipal tax increase

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? The FCSS budget ($450,057) is 4% of the City's total budget ($11.1 million).

Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce President Irv Pineau said he wants the mayor and council to very cautious about taxing the business sector, particularly after such a wide differential last year between residential and commercial taxing.

Hussen Elkadri, from the Cold Lake Bottle Depot and Cold Lake Recycle Centre, had questions about recycling, specifically about the costs and the large amount of recycled material ending up into the landfill.

City councilor Ron Young opined that whether the City pays money to Canadian Waste or somebody else, "we are going to make a commitment to keep material out of our landfill."

The City also wants to put $200,000 into operating reserves. Interim CAO Rick McDonald explained that the City runs a risk by not having money in reserves, and that?s why they are taxing for it this year.

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? A 14% increase in municipal taxes would net the City about $936,842. This increase would not include school mills or senior mills. Property taxes are the City's highest revenue source (52.5% of total revenue).

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In comparison to last year?s budget, some of the expense items with the biggest cost increase include policing (+$118,000), sewage (+$136,904), hiring a Manager of Legislative Services (+$74,427), and planning and development (+$73,117).

?If the policing was a provincial responsibility like it is in the MD (of Bonnyville), we would have a balanced budget,? said McDonald.

Among the highlights of the budget are:

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weeks, which saves the City $14,333.

The good news for seniors is that the City has received a $40,000 handibus grant that will go towards maintaining the present level of service. "We recognize it is important to keep it (FCSS handibus) here," said Mayor Hansa Thaleshvar.

The interim CAO, mayor and six councilors welcomed questions ranging from recycling and water rates to road maintenance and speeding on Lakeshore Drive. People questioned why the City has three branches of a public library when Edmonton only has 13 or 14 branches.

? Harbour View Community Centre gymnastic room rehab ($15,000) was added to the budget.

? The City now receives a 3 GST rebate on taxable expenses, adding $77,035 to revenue.

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grow, there are things that have to be done,? said the mayor.

Extra chairs were brought into city hall to accomodate the people who Puma High Top Sneakers For Men showed up for last week?s budget open house. City council held the open house Feb. 24 to answer questions about the second draft of the City of Cold Lake's 2004 operating budget.

The City acknowledges that the public transit system will not be a moneymaker. Puma Bmw Shoes Blue

After hearing suggestions and concerns from the public, council agreed to have administration make further adjustments.

? The transit system start up cost ($60,000) was included in this year's budget.

"Our consultant tells us that transit systems don't typically run at a profit," said city councilor Bruce Drake.

? Manager of Legislative Services ($40,375 for six months) has been added.

?As long as there are expectations for the City to move forward and Puma R698

McDonald said that Alberta is a high growth province. He said the province went through major changes in 1993/1994, and there was a major download of responsibility from the provincial government onto municipalities. Seniors homeowners discounts, handibus service and policing are examples of provincial downloading.

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? 3% cost of living increase for city staff means $95,120 including benefits. This figure was adjusted in accordance with staff raises in neighbouring municipalities.

If you want the general public to take a more active role in municipal governance, print the words "15% tax increase" on the front page of the newspaper and you will have what is needed.

? Garbage collection will be reduced in November and December to once every two Puma High Tops Black

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During the open house, he said, "If we want to maintain our level of service, we have to find new revenue to pay for it.?

This year?s overall tax increase is 7.9% for residential and 8.4% for commercial.

The City of Cold Lake pays $949,265 for police services.

Bruce Drake, the City of Cold Lake representative on the Beaver River Regional Waste Management Commission, told Elkadri that the City might examine other recycling possibilities locally. "We are looking at a regional landfill and I am convinced that it's cheaper to recycle it than to bury it," said Drake.

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