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The Independent February 27, 2014 : Page 1

Vol. 1, Issue 26 Free of Charge ~ Read and Enjoy! Petrolia looks at 3.5 percent tax increase Monday Heather Wright The Independent Thursday, February 27, 2014 BRICK FIX Dawn-Euphemia councilors consider a vote to end prohibition Dawn has been ‘dry’ since 1920s Heather Wright The Independent Dawn-Euphemia may be the only municipality in Ontario that still bans the sale of alcohol – in at least half of the municipality -but that may be about to change. In the 1920s, the provincial government prohibited the sale of alcohol in the province. That changed less than a decade later, but many communities, like Dawn Township remained dry. Time passed and eventually Dawn joined its “wet” neighbour to form the Township of Dawn-Euphemia but the designation of a dry municipality – at least in Dawn Township remained. With few restaurants and even fewer public halls, Dawn-Euphemia Clerk-Administrator Mike Schnare, says there was rarely any discussion about whether Dawn should change the designation to allow the public sale of liquor. But recently the owner of the variety store in Rutherford raised the question. “It has not been a pressing issue,” he says. “We were recently approached by the property owner next door to the township office, he had someone interested in buying it (the variety store and restaurant) and asked the question if he could get a liquor license there.” The answer, because the Dawn portion of the township still carries a dry designation, was no. Councilor Al Broad says that’s unfortunate. “I would hate to hold back any economic development,” he says. “If that’s what will make that restaurant sell and keep it open, that’s what should happen.” Schnare adds if the fire department wanted to get a permit for the Rutherford fire hall during one of its special events, they would also be denied. “We would Heather Wright Photo Doktor Masonry installed chicken wire to keep pieces of brick from falling onto the sidewalk on Petrolia Line. Chunks of the building fell to the ground Friday in high winds and the sidewalk was restricted until the mason finished the job. Here’s one more reason to be tired of the snow. Officials in Petrolia have had to rework the town’s budget because of cost over-runs due to snow removal. Town council went through the draft-operating budget in January, which called for $5.46 million in spending – about $60,000 more than last year or a proposed tax increase of 2.5 percent. Director of Finance Rick Charlebois says this winter’s heavy snow has driven some costs up. Charlebois says in 2010, the town spent $28,500 in winter maintenance (without overtime costs for employees), that number skyrocketed to $37,400 in 2011 – the year of Snowmaggedon. Last year, the costs for snow removal went below normal levels at $13,000 but this years snow pushed the 2013 maintenance costs to $34,000. With the winter only half over, Charlebois recommended and council has agreed to boost the winter maintenance budget line from $42,000 to $61,000 in 2014. “We’re thinking it is probably not enough but we’ll try to manage that throughout the year within the budget council gives us,” he says. Charlebois was not able to say yet how much the cost of overtime for snow removal would be for 2013. The added snow removal cost has boosted a potential tax increase to 3.5 percent, he says. SEE OPP Pg. 2 have to be declared wet to be able to do this.” So Schnare has raised the concern with municipal council, asking if they would like to put the issue on the municipal election ballot in October for the voters to decide. Councilors are expected to consider the issue in March. Broad says he’s neither for nor against the move, but favours putting it to a vote if the conditions are right. SEE PROHIBITION Pg. 2 2014 Chevrolet Cruze LT Turbo 4219 Oil Heritage Road, Petrolia www.facebook.com/MacFarlane1922 Lease Promo Plus First Month Payment On Us! $ 128.88 BI-WEEKLY 48 Months @ 0% www.macfarlanechev.com 519-882-1090 • 1-855-864-4962 Disclaimer: 2014 Chev Cruze payment includes all fees and HST OAC 20,000kms per yr HST INCLUDED!! $ 22,920

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