Vehicles for hire by-law, water treatment plant capital project included on Tuesday’s council agenda
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As this is the first reading, councilors will not debate the subject. A public hearing is proposed for June 14. The municipality is also asking people to give their opinion on the by-law.
The proposed regulations state that drivers with ride-sharing companies will need a driver’s license and the name of the company on the back and sides of the vehicle.
Other proposed changes include a maximum metered rate of $5 for the first 52 meters and $0.15 for every 52 meters thereafter. The current rate is $3.80 for the first 52 meters and $0.10 for each subsequent 52 meters. Alternatively, brokers or drivers can negotiate a flat fee with a passenger before a trip.
Drivers could charge a $250 fee for cleaning up vomit, urine, feces or blood. Wood Buffalo RCMP and By-laws will fine people $500 if they don’t pay for their ticket.
The bylaw was passed in 2013 and last revised in 2014. The current bylaw has gained few supporters in the Fort McMurray taxi industry. Sun Taxi owner Ron MacNeill said in an interview last week that the proposals were made with little feedback from taxi drivers. He said drivers are leaving the industry because the job does not provide them with a living wage.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to massive pay cuts for drivers when the restrictions were first announced in March 2020. Drivers also covered hefty taxi license and plate fees, as well as a increase in insurance rates and gas prices.
The Board also discussed a capital budget change for the Fort McMurray Water Treatment Plant Cross Flow Clarifier.
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Financial services say the 35-year-old equipment needs rehabilitation work. The ministries say there was not enough time to include the project in the 2022 capital budget because the design of the project was completed in December 2021.
The project will cost $2.67 million, with $220,000 allocated in 2022 and the remaining $2.45 million in 2023.
The board is also discussing allowing the municipality to become an intervenor in nine Land and Property Rights Tribunal cases over the past two years, as well as any similar complaints filed this year.
In 2019, the municipality became an intervener in two assessment complaints filed by Fort Hills Energy Corporation and Suncor Energy.
Since then, the municipality has become an “informal participant” in nine assessment complaints. Five were in 2020 by Cenovus Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), Fort Hills Energy Corporation, MEG Energy and Suncor Energy. In 2021, four valuation complaints were filed by Cenovus Energy, CNRL, Fort Hills Energy Corporation and Suncor Energy.
“Although the municipality has taken this risk into account and established conservative reserves for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 tax years, the complainants’ tactic of accumulating several years of complaints means that the result of the current complaints is both a potential immediate negative impact on the past. taxes for years, but also likely to have a continued impact in 2022 and years to come,” reads the board agenda document.
The Noral Toyota dealership is also asking to close and purchase the unfinished driveway near the downtown dealership. A public hearing is proposed for June 14.
– With files by Vincent McDermott