Red Arrow
Tuesday Sept. 27th, 2011  
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   Volume 81 - Issue 39   email:   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"The biggest highlight for me was being able to see everyone show their support for the Rypien family."
- Rory Snider  


Council passed a motion at the regular meeting on September 20th to increase the Fortis and ATCO Franchise Fees to 14 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively.
The increases will be effective January 1st.
The Fortis franchise fee increase will mean an annual revenue increase to the municipality of $147,823, and the ATCO increase will mean an increase of $47,638 to the municipality.
Fortis customers can expect a $32.64 annual increase, or $2.72 per month, and ATCO customers will see an increase of $22.32 on their annual electrical bill, or $1.86 monthly.
In the original recommendation from Administration, Council was asked to increase the Fortis franchise from its current eight per cent to 20 per cent, and to increase the ATCO fee from 15 per cent to 35 per cent.
Had Council approved these increases, it would have allowed for an additional $532,406 in funds.
“Council has a need for additional revenues in order to support the strategic plan,” said Interim Chief
Administrative Officer Kevin Robins.
Robins told Council he would suggest either increasing the franchise fees to the maximum allowable increase, or increasing the mill rate to eight per cent for the 2012 calendar year.
Councillor Brian Gallant said he would rather review the budget before increasing fees.
“My preference would be not to make substantial increases to these rates,” Councillor Gallant said.
“I would prefer we review the budget and see where we can save.”

Councillor Emile Saindon said he would also like to wait until budget deliberations.
“I can’t support an increase of that much without really knowing where the money is going.”
He noted that Council will soon be entering into a three-year budgeting cycle, and that the necessary increases could be made over the course of three years, as opposed to a substantial increase all at once.
“I can’t see us jumping from eight per cent to 20 per cent on Fortis,” said Councillor Larry Mitchell, noting he is a Fortis customer.
“Maybe next year we can increase it to 17 per cent, but that’s a pretty hard blow on the pocket right away.”
Robins informed Council that while it would be preferable to wait until budget deliberations to make a decision, unfortunately the rates must be set no later than October 15th.
“If Council does not find a new source of revenue, it will need to cut some services in order to put new services in,” Robins added.
Councillor Larry Mitchell moved to increase the Fortis franchise fee from eight to 14 per cent, and to keep the ATCO fee at 15 per cent.
Councillor Jerry Lonsbury made an amendment to Councillor Mitchell’s motion that the ATCO franchise fee be increased to 20 per cent.
The motion was carried 5-2, with Councillors Lonsbury, Gallant, Mitchell, Andrew Saje, and Mayor Bruce Decoux in favour, and Councillors Saindon and Siegbert Gail opposed.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 39   email:   $1.00   
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