Millcreek Philly

Mill rate drops for 2001 in Town of McLennan

The Town of McLennan’s distinction for having the highest mill rate in the province won’t be changing any time soon.
“Our municipal mill rate has decreased just over two mills from 30.95 in 2000 to 28.29 this year,” said municipal administrator Janet Bayers last week after councillors put their stamp of approval on this year’s operating budget.
Council met for its regular meeting May 14, eventually passing an operating budget which carried a bottom line surplus of roughly $32,000.
Mayor Ron Faulkner said that while it was good news to see the mill rate drop this year, individual taxes may still be affected by the assessment values.
“Some assessments in town went up a bit this year while others went down,” he said, adding that taxes will fluctuate this year for residents, depending on which side of the fence they’re on.
“Basically, as far as we’re concerned, there’s no increase in taxation. The assessment side of things, however, is something we have no control over.”
Additional highlights of the budget include an established mill rate of 34.75 for non-residential (the same as last year).
Bayers said the school requisition went up slightly, while the Heart River Senior’s Foundation requisition and Smoky River Amubulance Service Society contributions dropped.
She added the town’s overall assessment went down this year by $15,630 from $15,103,970 in 2000 to $15,088,340 in 2001.
That figure does not include tax exempt properties within the municipality, which carry an assessed value of $21,434,070.
They include things like churches, schools, the hospital and nursing home, for example.
“That’s one of the main reasons why we have the highest mill rate in the province,” Bayers said.
Water, sewer
and garbage rates
on the rise
While residents of McLennan may escape the grip of increased taxes in 2001, the same can’t be said about the area of essential services where monthly fees will jump by 10 per cent.
Bayers said that will include areas such as waste management (garbage collection), water and sewer, noting the increase was needed to help offset increased utility costs passed on to consumers by major utility companies.
“The town’s utility expenses have doubled since last December. As a result we’ve been forced to increase our utility costs by 100 per cent,” she said.
“It’s unfortunate, but we’re all in the same boat. We have to pay it as well.”
The new minimum monthly residential billing rate for water (nine cubic metres) will increase to $23.29, while waste management jumps to $7.32 and sewer climbs to $15.97.
Commercial rates, meanwhile, have been set at $31.94 for sewer and $23.29 for water in addition to the basic waste management rate of $36.60, which can fluctuate depending on the level of service by each business. All rate increases are effective July 1 of this year.