No clear solution to Champlain water fight RICHARD MAHONEY firstname.lastname@example.org in Champlain Township will continue in the new year. cided to defer a decision until January after members said a proposed by-law did not reflect their wishes.
sented by chief administrator Jean Théri- ault was too complicated, said Mayor Gary Barton. “We have to keep it simple. Unless it is clear to council, we should wait,” he com- mented. “We are not all on the same page,” added Councillor Jacques Lacelle. For the past year, a group of landlords has been protesting that multiple-unit building owners were being used as “scapegoats” in the township’s efforts to balance the books. Under the new system, charges will be lev- ied on individual dwelling units. The current fees are based on the number of meters in a building. Landlords “take one hell of a hit” with the new billing method, conceded Barton. However, the township has maintained that a per-unit billing system is fair. Landlords recently presented alternatives for new rates to the township’s water and sewage committee. “After looking at these options and dis- cussing each at length, the committee thought that the fairest way to change the billing was to recommend to Council to change the water and sewer billing by starting to charge per unit. This would cor- rect the fact that some family units in the Township are charged a lower fee than oth- ers and would not adversely affect our com- mercial and industrial properties,” Thériault wrote in his report. “To give owners of multi-residential properties a chance to ad- just their rents to include the increased cost of the water and sewers, the committee is recommending that the increase is spread over four years.” Again landlords objected, warning ten- ants living on low and fixed incomes would move out and landlords would put their properties up for sale. Barton sympathized, agreeing that the new fees represent a “big whack” for apart- ment building owners. The township will seek subsidies to defray the cost of install- ing more water meters. The Upper Canada District School Board is trying to figure out ways to make sure students with artistic spirits are support- ed in its schools. Ewen McIntosh, secondary vice-principal of teaching for learning, presented trustees during their Nov. 27 meeting with a draft of a new Arts Sustainability Plan for the Upper Canada school district. Among the highlights of the draft plan is a proposal to hire two full-time staff to run the arts program initiative. The plan also calls for expanding the band-for-credit pro- gram in the district which is already part of the T.R. Leger School of Adult Alternative and Continuing Education curriculum. Other ideas proposed in the plan include developing a strategy for assisting teach- ers at Upper Canada schools to deliver arts programming and also establish regional performance groups. The draft report proposes a five-year pe- riod to put the plan into effect and then follow with a one-year review period to de- termine results. $++(ŏ+. .!2%!3/ŏ.0/ ,.%+.%05
No clear solution has emerged from dis- cussions that began late last year as the mu- nicipality considered new billing methods in order to erase its waterworks deficit. At its last regular meeting, council de-
The consensus is that the new rates, which would primarily affect apartment building owners, will be phased in over four years. However, the fee system pre-
PLEASANT CORNER | A year-long hot de- bate over higher water and sewage rates
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