Fire fee col­lec­tions a con­cern in Bay Roberts

The Compass - - SPORTS -

The Town of Bay Roberts is grow­ing in­creas­ingly frus­trated by the num­ber of home­own­ers in two neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties — Port de Grave and Bare­need — and boa­town­ers in Port de Grave who are not pay­ing fire pro­tec­tion fees.

The town charges $50 an­nu­ally to each home­owner, but the rate of pay­ment has dipped to just over 80 per cent, said Nigel Black, chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer for the Town of Bay Roberts.

That’s well be­low the 90-plus per cent of Bay Roberts tax­pay­ers who pay their bills to the town, Black added.

“It’s not ter­ri­ble, but it’s lower than our reg­u­lar tax col­lec­tion rates,” Black said. “It’s some­thing we are keep­ing an eye on.”

Bay Roberts mayor Glenn Lit­tle­john ref­er­enced the is­sue last month dur­ing his bud­get speech to coun­cil, say­ing the non-pay­ment is­sue “ is a con­cern to us all.”

The town sent out bills to­talling $ 20,400 to home­own­ers and boa­town­ers in 2010, but col­lected $16,950. Black said there are also out­stand­ing bal­ances from pre­vi­ous years.

Port de Grave and Bare­need do not have mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils, so bills are sent di­rectly to home­own­ers and boa­town­ers, Black ex­plained. Port de Grave is home to a large fleet of com­mer­cial fish­ing ves­sels.

Black said the town’s fi­nance com­mit­tee will de­cide soon on a course of ac­tion, but he ad­mit­ted it’s a tough bill to col­lect.

“ They’re out­side of our bound­aries. It’s not like you can put a lien on their prop­erty or shut off their ser­vices,” Black said.

“ We’re go­ing to have to look at it, and if it gets to a point where we’re not col­lect­ing, we would have to de­cide whether or not to pro­vide the ser­vice. But it’s not at that stage at this point.”

The rev­enue flows di­rectly into the town’s cof­fers. It’s sim­i­lar to an ar­range­ment the Bay Roberts fire depart­ment had with other neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties — Clarke’s Beach, North River, South River and Makin­sons — prior to the ac­ti­va­tion of the South River-based Bay de Grave fire depart­ment last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.