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Bills for cottages in provincial parks coming soon

Bills for new annual fees for the 6,000 cottage owners in Manitoba's provincial parks should be in the mail by the end of next month, the province says.

The new fees will be phased in over the next decade and will be used to maintain and upgrade the parks, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh has said.

Fees for cottages in 18 provincial parks have been frozen for more than a decade while the tax load for many cottager owners outside parks has escalated with increased market values.

The Whiteshell Cottagers Association has demanded a breakdown of all park service fees and an accounting of how much should be paid by cottagers, versus day users, campers and businesses. That information will be made available to the cottagers once an external audit of the new fee system is complete. The province expects the audit report to be complete in about three weeks.

The maximum for combined rent and park district service fees is set at $3,000 for 2013.

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