Record-set­ting bud­get in Spa­niard’s Bay

The Compass - - CLASSIFIED - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

The Town of Spa­niard’s Bay passed a record-set­ting bud­get on Dec. 20 for the com­mu­nity of 2,700, with nearly $ 2.3 mil­lion worth of spend­ing lined-up for 2011.

The bud­get avoided in­creas­ing taxes and fees for res­i­dents, which may have been tied to rev­enues from new hous­ing starts, which came in at 41 for 2010. Town man­ager Tony Ryan can re­call years where there would only be a dozen homes built in a year, but over the last three, he says there has been a grad­ual in­crease in those num­bers.

Amongst the more prom­i­nent ex­pen­di­tures for the town will be garbage col­lec­tion, which now must take into ac­count the need to trans­port goods to Robin Hood Bay and pay tip­ping fees of $ 51 per tonne. Deputy mayor Tony Men­chions, who also chairs the fi­nance com­mit­tee, says three years ago the tip­ping fee cost only $23 per tonne, and in April it will rise fur­ther to $65.50 per tonne.

“It’s def­i­nitely a thorn in the side for com­mu­ni­ties,” says Men­chions. The town has bud­geted over $228,000 for garbage col­lec­tion.

For re­cy­cled goods, Robin Hood Bay has of­fered a lower tip­ping fee of ap­prox­i­mately $20 per tonne.

“ Re­cy­cling is def­i­nitely a good idea,” says Ryan. “ It’s some­thing we should have done a long time ago.”

How­ever, he says the in­cen­tive of pay­ing a lower cost for dis­posal at Robin Hood Bay does not fac­tor in the costs as­so­ci­ated with hav­ing to find a pri­vate con­trac­tor whose com­pactor has mul­ti­ple dump­ing bays to han­dle garbage and re­cy­cling. Thus far, the Town of Spa­niard’s Bay has not in­tro­duced re­cy­cling into its waste col­lec­tion.

Loom­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects in­clude wa­ter and sewer lines for the ma­jor com­mer­cial devel­op­ment project planned near Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial High­way. Ryan says it will be an­other six-to-eight weeks be­fore the town gets the re­sults of a study on po­ten­tial flow rates gen­er­ated by the new devel­op­ment.

The project, once it’s com­plete, will mean fur­ther tax rev­enues for the town.

“Our fu­ture looks very en­cour­ag­ing, both on the res­i­den­tial and busi­ness devel­op­ment sides,” says Men­chions.

There is also money in the bud­get for road work on Church Hill, cost­ing ap­prox­i­mately $300,000. Men­chions says the work is long over­due.

The town has also ap­plied for fund­ing to up­grade the sewer sys­tem in North­ern Cove, and Ryan says it is wait­ing to hear back from the pro­vin­cial govern­ment. That project will cost ap­prox­i­mately $500,000.

The town will once again in­vest in a recre­ation di­rec­tor for the sec­ond year in a row. Men­chions says the in­vest­ment proved ben­e­fi­cial for the com­mu­nity in its trail run.

Along with strong hous­ing num­bers, the town is ben­e­fit­ting from a solid tax col­lec­tion rate of 96 per cent.

The town saved money on snow clear­ing, though Men­chions says much of those sav­ings go into the main­te­nance of equip­ment.

A new back­hoe is on the hori­zon at a cost of $160,000, and the rest of its f leet is in pretty good shape, ac­cord­ing to Ryan.

The mil rate re­mains at nine for 2011, af­ter hav­ing been de­creased by half a point in 2010 to com­pen­sate for mu­nic­i­pal as­sess­ments re­leased the year be­fore.

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