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VOLUME 63 • NO. 15 • 50 CENTS STONEY CREEK NEWS CAR WASH 4QSJOH $-&"/ 61 INSIDE & OUT 264 Hwy. 8 (at Green Road) OPEN 24 / 7 •PROUD TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITY• THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 Should get what you pay for: Clark inside COMMUNITY Without area rating, Stoney Creek would pay for services not received BY KEVIN WERNER NEWS STAFF H amilton councillors may be talking about compromise to mitigate the effects of a tripling of suburban residents’ taxes, but some councillors are prepared to fight to keep the area-rating policy in place. Under at least four scenarios proposed by city staff, first presented to politicians in late 2009, based on an urban-rural geographical split, any changes to the policy would see suburban homeowners’ taxes jump anywhere between 6.5 per cent for Ancaster to 16 per cent for Glanbrook, while residents in the former City of Hamilton would see their taxes drop by more than four per cent. Under the Citizens’ Forum recommendation for a three-tiered fire service rate, suburban residents would see their taxes rise from between 1.9 per cent for Ancaster to 9.2 per cent for Glanbrook. The forum, which introduced its recommendations about a month ago, also proposed to eliminate Ancaster’s sidewalk snow clearing service. City staff said eliminating the service would only mean $4 in savings for each household. Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson has called the recommendation silly and will fight to keep the service. But if councillors eliminate area-rating for transit, fire, culture and recreation, which is what many inner-city politicians want starting this year, suburban taxpayers would see a jump in taxes anywhere from three to four per cent. Hamilton residents would see tax cuts in every scenario proposed by city financial staff. Corporate Services general manager Robert Rossini said any area rating proposal includes ideas to mitigate the tax effects by phasing in the increases over a number of years. “I’m still very nervous where we are going,” said Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark. Clark pointed out that if Stoney Creek residents pay the same in taxes as other suburban areas for fire services, for example, they should expect to get the most complete service available. Upper Stoney Creek residents receive a hybrid fire service, which is a combination of full-time and volunteer. See JOHNSON/Page 6 Young activist Seven-year-old Illyria Volcansek is fighting City Hall over the expected removal of a tree from Community Park. Page 3 LIFESTYLES Celebrating 50 years John Knox Christian School is holding a big celebration this weekend to commemorate its 50th birthday Page 15 INDEX Opinion Letters Food Classifieds City Sidelines Sports 8 9 25 30 36 37 JRW MXQN" QHHG D ELQ" PHOTO BY LAURA LENNIE Kicking for Canada Glendale Secondary School Grade 12 student Stefan Vukovic was recently named to Canada’s men’s U-18 soccer team. For full story, see Page 37. Buy One    Buy One SMOOTHIE PEANUT BUSTER PARFAIT ® ✃ GET ONE FREE at a regular price (equal or lesser value) location Only Valid until April 30, 2011 GET ONE FREE Valid until April 30, 2011 981 Queenston Rd. (across from Fiesta Mall) 905-662-4224

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