Kincardine looking at 4 per cent or 5 per cent tax increase

There was a distinct chopping sound emanating from the Municipal Administration Centre last week.

Over the course of three meetings, Kincardine council managed to lower the 2009 municipal tax rate increase from more than 13 per cent to just 2.27 per cent. A 2.27 per cent tax increase would result in an increase of approximately $18 on the tax rate for a home valued at the median assessment of $169,500.

Budget deliberations began with council facing a 13.71 per cent increase to the tax rate. Working through the proposed capital budget, council managed to find the money necessary to lower that number significantly.

Kincardine begins budget deliberations

Councillors, staff and senior management began 2009 budget deliberations this week. The draft budget shows a tax increase of 13.71 per cent, or an additional $86.73 on the municipal tax bill of a median assessed home.

Treasurer Brenda French said staff’s goal is to lower the increase to just 3.55 per cent. This will require council to cut more than $500,000 out of the budget. A change of $53,000 will result in a one per cent increase to the tax rate.

Kincardine’s budget increase is impacted by a number of factors this year. Bruce Telecom’s annual payout has dropped $300,000 and the cost of fuel, electricity and hydro have all increased dramatically.

Flippin' flapjacks

Don Eyre flips pancakes as Kincardine United Church celebrates Shrove Tuesday with a pancake dinner. (Kiel Edge photo)

Township home burns to the ground

A smoke alarm likely saved the lives of a Kincardine Town ship family early Saturday morning.

Rick and Susan Smith and their two daughters were awakened by the alarm about 4 a.m. and were able to escape the house safely.

Kincardine Administrative fire chief Jamie MacKinnon said Monday that the home, located on the 7th concession, just east of the 20th Sideroad, was burned to the ground. Damage is estimated at $150,000.

Cause of the fire is undetermined, said MacKinnon. With an old house, it could have been one of many things, he added.

Biogas fuel makes energy out of waste

Kincardine’s farmers might be getting more out of their waste if the municipality’s environmental advisory committee can follow through on an idea presented at its February meeting.

Clare Riepma, president of PlanET Biogas Solutions Inc., was at the Walker House Thursday morning to discuss the benefits of generating electricity through anaerobic digestion.

Riepma’s company creates digesters that turn carbon products, usually farm animal manure, waste vegetables and grease and fats into energy and heat that can be used to power homes and farms.

PlanET Biogas started in Germany, where the technology is much more common place. In 2006-2007, Riepma helped build his company’s first digester in Ontario at a Niagara-area greenhouse.

Making time stop


Some people are strong willed.

Agnes MacDonald died Friday, Feb. 13 - just about the time her grandfather clock stopped.

The story starts about 10 years ago when Nancy McKinley, a financial advisor, met Agnes through business. They became good friends and when Agnes’s sister died, Agnes asked Nancy to look after her legal affairs. Since that would be a conflict of interest, Nancy had to end the business relationship. However, the friendship continued and Agnes was just like part of the family.

It's back

After a nice run of warm temperatures and melting snow, Kincardine residents woke up Friday to a fresh dumping of the white stuff. Howard Mank was one of many people seen shovelling out their driveways Friday morning. The winter weather continued with heavy snowfall and winds for most of the weekend. (Kiel Edge photo)


Nothing sinister about meetings, says Haight

Deputy mayor Laura Haight attempted to put the rest of council at ease Feb. 18 after allegations surfaced about private meetings between her and mayor Larry Kraemer.

Councillor Marsha Leggett told a local radio station that Haight and Kraemer met monthly with CAO John deRosenrooll. Leggett was concerned that council was not informed of these meetings, or the topics being discussed.

Haight, speaking as a delegation, said the meetings are held to try and improve communication between the mayor and herself. There is no set agenda, Haight said. The topics vary and all of council is aware of the meetings and invited to attend.

“While the mayor and I will continue to disagree on many issues,” Haight said, validating the meetings, “our discourse has been less strained and more civil during the council meetings.”

Kincardine in the dark

The former town of Kincardine was left in the dark Thursday evening during a blizzard that had most area highways closed.

Pat Protomanni of Westario Power said Friday that a crew was despatched to Kincardine because of near brown out conditions in the town that started at about 6 p.m. As the linemen got closer to Kincardine on Highway 9, the problem seemed to worsen.

Because of the strange voltage fluctuations, Westario asked  Hydro One to turn off the main line into town to prevent damage to the equipment of Westario customers. Fluctuating voltage can burn out motors in fridges, furnaces, etc.

A burned off lead on the main line, two poles outside the bounday, was the problem, said Protomanni. Once found, Hydro One quickly had the problem fixed.

Council bails out pavilion

The Kincardine Beach Pavilion has started to become a bit of a money pit for Kincardine council.

The municipality agreed to forgive a $122,500 loan owed to them by the Friends of the Pavilion and is also planning to loan the group an additional $350,000 after committee member Barb Fisher told council the pavilion has accumulated debts of almost $350,000 during its four-year refurbishment.

“We’ve been working at both ends to make debt repayments,” said Fisher Feb. 18. “We’re asking you for forgiveness (of the municipality’s loan).”

Friends of the Pavilion took over control of the building when it was ready to be demolished in 2004. Through four years of restoration, which culminated with its official opening last April, the building’s value has risen from $30,000 to approximately $1.2-million.