The Municipality of Machin is putting the final pieces on their 2019 budget. They say that the budget is tight, and every tax dollar is needed in many places.

Notably, water rates increased by 2 per cent last month. Residential users now pay an average of $109.25 monthly. This is lower than the average water bill of $119.14 in northwestern Ontario, as well as Dryden’s average $119.50 bill and Kenora’s $127.22 bill.

Council and municipal staff have met with the Senior Environment Officer from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to discuss their options for their two landfill sites that are nearing their legal capacity.

A short-term solution will be pursued, and future expansions of existing sites will be explored. In January, the municipality’s bill for closure and post-closure monitoring of the Vermilion Bay and Eagle River Landfill sites – as directed by provincial regulations – would cost the municipality $874,000. Establishing a new site would be a many-year approval process, with a price tag of over $1 million.

Local volunteers have also completed minor repairs to the Eagle River Recreation Centre. Repairs included minor damage to walls, washrooms, and a new paint job. Volunteers dedicated their time, and the paint was donated by Timbermax in Dryden. The municipality thanked the volunteers for their community spirit, as well as Timbermax for their donation.

The municipality’s Public Works Department has contracted out and completed approximately 12 kilometres of roadside brushing on municipal roads. An additional 4 kilometres is planned to be brushed over the next two months, if conditions are favourable. Staff say that the removal will help with the encroachment of the road edge.

Councillors and Mayor Gord Griffiths are also making sure to stay in touch with community members. Staff will remain at council chambers for 30 minutes after the closure of the second council meeting of the month, which occurs on the fourth Monday of each month.

The first opportunity will be on March 25, and a maximum of five minutes will be allotted per person.

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Comparing northwestern Ontario’s property tax, water bills

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