In addition to the larger stories, which happen quite infrequently, other items go through Thorold City Council and General Committee. Some may be important to someone affected and others are just a little interesting. The following are some of those items.
- EMPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) was at Council Tuesday evening for their occasional explanation of what it is they do and how it works. They explained that the assessment doesn’t affect overall property taxes. The overall budget is set by Council, so what it does affect is how the taxes are distributed. For instance, if one type of property goes up and the others stay the same, then the group that went up will pay more and the others less. If you want to know more, visit MPAC’s website https://aboutmyproperty.ca/ which includes tutorials on how the assessment works.
The assessment you received recently or will receive soon will be in effect for the taxation years of 2017-20. Any changes in property values won’t be reflected until the next assessment in 2020 so, if you disagree with your assessment, go to the website above for your options.
- Hydro One also made a presentation, in response to a request by Councillor Charron, to explain shy they go about trimming trees the way they do. It was explained that the trees have to be trimmed back a certain distance due to employee Health and Safety and a statutory requirement to keep a clear right-of-way for power lines. Councillors Charron and Paone argued that there must be a better way so that Hydro One isn’t reducing the canopy and leaving lop-sided trees, but there was no give.
Councillor Handley took an entirely different tack. Even after listening to his presentation at Council and replaying it a couple of times, it sounded like he was suggesting that Hydro One was responsible for the City’s high cost of tree removal due to the emerald ash borer infestation. His reasoning seemed to be that the City bore the cost because, since Hydro One only cuts down dead trees, the borers could spread and it usually fell to the City, who owns the trees, to remove them when they died, saving Hydro One the money. The Hydro one rep. seemed to have to answer to that.
- A group has stepped forward to save the Santa Claus Parade in Thorold. The grants are still in place but they will have to move fast, since it’s already August. It’s certainly not impossible though. Work on the first parade was started in August of 1991 and had 64 entries that year. Kudos to those willing to do the work to keep it alive!
- It was announced that the Black Hawks will be changing their logo for the 2017-18 season. The City has been involved in the ongoing negotiations to have the present logo, which many find offensive to Natives, changed.