Watch your waste Residents are asked to be mindful of snow and ice conditions when bring- ing their garbage and recycling boxes to the curb for pick-up. Winter weather presents a number of potential safety hazards when it comes to curbside garbage collection, however those hazards can be limited by follow- ing these tips:  Do not place solid waste or Blue/Black Box materials on top of snow banks.  Clear snow to ground level at the end of your driveway or near the curb where solid waste and Blue/Black Box material is to be placed for final collec- tion.  Do not block the sidewalk.  During winter conditions, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to ex- pose and loosen solid waste or Blue/Black Box material covered by snowfall and/or snow removal equip- ment. Kitchen fire extinguished At 7:42 p.m., on Saturday, a call was received by the 911 operator ad- vising of a kitchen on fire on Pine Street in Cornwall. The Cornwall fire department re- sponded with fourvehicles from both stations. A total of 13 fire personnel were at the scene. The fire was extinguished with no in- juries or loss of life. The incident is still under investigation at this time. N-ice weather Outdoor rinks are now ready to wel- come skaters at Alexander Park on Eighth Street and Optimist Park on St. Michel Avenue as well as the out- door rink at King George Park on Sev- enth Street. City crews have taken advantage of the recent cold snap to prepare the out- door rinks for use, and work continues on a number of other rink locations, in- cluding Dover Heights, Broadview, Grant, Reg Campbell, Terry Fox, Gallinger and Mattice Parks. Volunteers have stepped up to help maintain rinks in a number of these lo- cations. Subject to favourable weather conditions, the additional outdoor rinks should be up and running in the near future. All of the rinks are located in areas with outdoor lighting to allow for evening play. Computer scam alert The Cornwall Community Police Service is warning residents of a com- puter repair scam. In the scam, a person contacts the victim by telephone and suggests that the home computer has a virus. The person explains that the virus can be eliminated with from the business computer and charges the vic- tim approximately $200 on their credit card. The person provides a business name and a false telephone number for complaints. Shortly after the fraud is completed the victim’s computer is re- ported to malfunction. TO THE POINT News in brief from Cornwall and the surrounding area

Tax hike of 2.38 per cent pro posed Photo by Greg Kielec Councillor Denis Thibault speaks at a city of Cornwall budget committee meeting Friday morning. Thibault suggested staff “creep” may be eating away city resources.

“It’s creeping numbers that seem to creep every year,” Thibault said. He asked for staffing numbers from previous years for comparison. Administration had to postpone or cut back on some anticipated projects for 2012, includ- ing the redevelopment of the Bob Turner Arena site at Fourth Street andMarlborough. “That is a project that has been scaled back a little bit,” Adams said. One capital project that will proceed is work to repair the roof at the Cornwall Public Li- brary. But Councillor Syd Gardiner com- plained that the library may have to cut services because of the cost of the project. He said the project should be paid by the city’s capital works fund, not out of the li- brary’s operational fund. The budget steering committee also ap- proved in principle in $570,000 of funding for outside agencies, about $70,000 more than what was allotted outside agencies in 2011. The funding still must be approved by city council. Thibault said the increase is largely a result of providing funding to another seniors group in the 2012 budget deliberations. Recyling funding Follow @gkielec on Twitter. For breaking news, go to and click on The Journal. Email The City of Cornwall has secured fund- ing of up to $21,370 from Waste Diver- sion Ontario to improve recycling in multi-residential buildings throughout the community. The funding will be used to investigate and implement a number of recycling "best practices" by engaging building owners, su- perintendents and residents of multi-resi- dential buildings. Some of the other initiatives of the project include: Providing free recycling carts (if necessary) to building owners and/or su- perintendents; Developing and distributing a Superintendent Recycling Handbook that will provide information on how to set up and maintain a successful recycling pro- gram. The Journal

By Greg Kielec

The city’s finance manager is forecasting a 2.38 per cent tax hike for city residents in this year’s budget. Maureen Adams said the hike is a result of increased salaries and benefits as well as other costs, such as the new waste management services focused on composting and recycling which will result in a $399,520 budget in- crease this year, coupled with a $159175 in- crease in the residential garbage collection contract. “From an operational point of view, the budget this year is very tight,” Adams said during a 90-minute budget committee session at Cornwall city hall Friday morning. Councillor Denis Thibault singled out city salaries and benefits which are increasing 3.75 per cent and services and rent costs which are going up 5.19 per cent this year. Those in- creases go a long way to explaining the po- tential 2.38 per cent tax increase. “How do you cut back if you have increases of that type?” he questioned at Friday morn- ing’s budget steering committee meeting. “Where is that impact coming from?” He questioned whether staffing “creep” could be contributing to budget increases, point out the high number of part-time work-

ers employed by the city which are not in- cluded in the city’s 508 full-time employee total. The city is budgeting for 238,056 part-time hours this year, which amounts to about 130 full-time positions based on a 40-hour work week. Photo by Greg Kielec City finance manager Maureen Adams lis- tens to discussion at the city’s budget steering committee Friday.

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