North Bay mayor Al McDonald doesn’t believe residents will like a consultant’s recommendation on water meter rates. Hemson consultants is suggesting homeowner pay a 60 percent fixed rate with the remainder of the bill being charged as a variable amount. But McDonald believes residents will want just the opposite where the variable rate is set at 60 percent. McDonald says this way homeowners can determine how much water to pay based on how much they use. In other council news, municipal politicians are looking at different ways to lower its budget. Chris Mayne says one possibility is to use less salt during the winter which could save $100,000. The city may also stop picking up Christmas trees which could save another 10 G’s. Mayne was reacting to resident Denis St. Onge who was part of public delegation commenting on the city’s proposed operating budget. St. Onge says he’s okay with service cuts because people are being taxed out of their homes.