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Two, four, six, eight . . . what’s the new taxing rate? »

The tax picture in Fort Erie is still very fuzzy and it won’t come into focus until March when the operations budget is struck, but a sizable increase is inevitable.

Before any new spending is tallied, Treasurer Jonathan Janzen reported in December that the Town would need 2.75 per cent more to maintain services at the 2014 level. This is what the Town calls “base budget”. continued . . .

Builders to pay more fees up front »

Builders will be required to pay more Town fees in advance to develop subdivisions and prepare site plans.

Town council endorsed recommendations as part of budget deliberations Wednesday to charge deposits up to $12,000 to review engineering plans. continued . . .

Water bills climb $25 per year on average »

The relentless drip, drip, drip of price increases continues as water and sewer rates go up across the board, resulting in an annual increase of slightly more than $2 per month for the average household in Fort Erie.

Town council endorsed the water budget Wednesday night recommending an average increase of 2.06 per cent. continued . . .

Fourth person charged in murder »

Police have charged 25-year-old Thomas Nagy of Niagara Falls in the murder of Alexander Fraser whose burning car was discovered near Townline Road and the Niagara Parkway late at night on Dec. 26.

He is the fourth person to be charged.

Fraser’s body has yet to be found.

Three arrested for murder »

Three Niagara Falls people were arrested and charged with first degree murder of 49-year-old Alexander Fraser, also of Niagara Falls, whose car was found burning in a secluded area called Gonder’s Flats near Townline Road and Niagara Boulevard late at night on Dec. 26.

Police have not located Fraser’s body.

Victoria Harvey, 20, Brad MacGarvie, 25, and Duran Wilson, 29, are charged.

Police say Fraser was known to all three accused and he was targeted for murder.

Further arrests are anticipated and the search for the body continues.

Town councillor Rick Shular dies »

Fort Erie town councillor Rick Shular died this morning after a brief illness at the age of 68.

His last public appearance was the inaugural meeting Dec. 1 after a resounding victory at the polls to be re-elected to the Ward 2 seat.

He missed the first business meeting of council a week later and word had spread that he was in hospital in a very serious way.

Shular was first elected to council in 2003.

He was retired from a career with Sherwin-Williams and was well known for community service with organizations such as Kinsmen and Palmer Lodge AF&AM.

Shular was one of two councillors re-elected in October and is remembered for his earthy and professional approach to the conduct of Town business.

His vacant seat on council will likely be filled either through a byelection or by appointment.

Surfing Santa makes 30th trip »

surf-santa-beach

santa-closeupJohn “Surfing Santa” Fulton emerges from the Niagara River after his 30th annual trip this afternoon. Calm weather forced him to paddle down from Mather Park, where he arrived by helicopter, to Bowen Road where he emerged after paddling over to U.S. waters. His exploits went largely unnoticed except for local newspaper coverage until a few years ago when U.S. Border Patrol officials detained him. He hopes to raise awareness and encourage support for homeless people.

santa-helo

Author Miriam Toews describes “My Puny Sorrows” »

Acclaimed author Miriam Toews is the featured guest of the Canadian Authors Series at Roselawn Centre in Port Colborne Thursday night.

“All My Puny Sorrows” recounts in fiction her real-life grapple with her sister’s depression and suicide in a complicated mix of humour, sadness and optimism. continued . . .

Martin roasted at retirement dinner »

martin-luau

A full house of well wishers enjoyed a luau dinner and a retirement roast Tuesday night at the Leisureplex for Mayor Doug Martin who will be hanging up his gavel for good when the new Town council is inaugurated next week. With him are wife Donna, daughter Jessica Folino with husband Michael, son Peter and Elizabeth LeBlanc.

Swim free at YMCA on Sunday »

The YMCA in Fort Erie will open its pool for free swimming on Sunday, Nov. 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. as part of National Child Day events.

Municipalities and YMCAs in Niagara particpate in this program in conjunction with the Niagara Children’s Planning Council.

Information about the organization can be found on the web: http://niagaracpc.ca/news/details/national-child-day-november-20-2014.