In­fras­truc­ture in­vest­ments

Stanstead Journal - - CLAS­SI­FIEDS -

When asked for clar­i­fi­ca­tion on this point, Mayor Page ex­plained: “This is money we’ve been spend­ing for the past seven years (since 2005) to im­prove our in­fra­struc­ture.”

“The money was bor­rowed to build and im­prove roads, side­walks, bridges, and most im­por­tantly, to in­stall bet­ter wa­ter pipes for the new wa­ter treat­ment plant we’ll be putting in in the spring.”

“What’s the point of putting in a new plant when we have leaky pipes in the ground?” jus­ti­fied the mayor.

Later in the meet­ing he took the op­por­tu­nity to point out that while taxes in North Hat­ley are higher than most mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, “what most peo­ple don’t un­der­stand is we [in North Hat­ley] have in­vested in our in­fra­struc­ture. With other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that cost will be com­ing down the line.”

“This is what you need to make clear to your read­ers,” he told the Stanstead Jour­nal.

Another big chunk of Castag­ner’s pie of 2013 ex­pen­di­tures will be the cost of pub­lic se­cu­rity.

“Like the cost of fi­nanc­ing our debt,” said the mayor, “cer­tain costs are out of our con­trol—take, for ex­am­ple, the cost of the SQ. The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment de­cides how much we will pay each year for po­lice ser­vices, and we pay it. It’s not some­thing we have any say in.”

But the mayor was quick to point out that al­though taxes in North Hat­ley are high, the 2013 in­crease in the mill rate (the amount of tax paid for ev­ery $100 of as­sessed prop­erty value) will only be 1.26%. “And that’s quite low,” he said. Ac­cord­ing to the num­bers pre­sented by Castag­ner, to­tal rev­enues in 2013 will in­crease by around $115,000, or about 5% from 2012.

This money will be put into Public Se­cu­rity (po­lice, fire, etc), En­vi­ron­men­tal Health, and debt fi­nanc­ing.

Less money will be spent on Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Trans­port and Cul­ture in 2013 than in 2012.

After the brief in­ter­rup­tion for ques­tions and clar­i­fi­ca­tion, Castag­ner seemed im­pa­tient to get back to the busi­ness of present- ing his bud­get. He did so with such gusto and en­thu­si­asm that at the end he was awarded with a warm round of ap­plause.

“Not bad for a dyslexic,” he joked about his rapid-fire pre­sen­tion (al­though it was not clear if he was be­ing ironic).

Fol­low­ing the meet­ing a few of the coun­cil­lors tar­ried, chat­ting with the Stanstead Jour­nal, but Castag­ner seemed im­pa­tient to clear out of the room.

“To­mor­row,” he said, wav­ing his hand light­heart­edly when asked for soft copies of his bud­get num­bers. “I’ll send you ev­ery­thing you need to­mor­row.”

He had a look of a tri­umph about him, clearly pleased with his bud­get work, happy that the heavy lift­ing was over. When the mayor for­mally closed the meet­ing and asked if there were any fi­nal ques­tions, Castag­ner threw up his arms in jest and said: “No more! Not tonight! We’re done!”

Then he mimed a shot­gun, swung it in this re­porter’s di­rec­tion—the only re­main­ing mem­ber of the au­di­ence, af­ter all—and fired.

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