Eyes on the roads
Carbonear council identifies street upgrades as a top priority for 2012
Continuing upgrades to local streets will again be a top priority for the The Town of Carbonear in 2012, Deputy Mayor Ches Ash stated during his budget presentation to council on Dec. 20.
“One of the most pressing needs we have … is the need for repair, resurfacing and upgrading of our roads,” said Ash, who also chairs the town’s finance committee.
He added that upgrades to aging water and sewer infrastructure is also a priority.
The $5.17 million operating budget is slightly less than 2011 because the town’s debt charges have dropped significantly, to about 17 per cent of overall revenues.
Ash was pleased to announce the tax rate for residential properties will remain at 9.25 mills of the assessed property value. He added there will not be any changes in the town’s schedule of rates and fees.
“We were careful to remain fiscally responsible and to avoid any cut in services,” Ash said.
More to be done
Ash said the town invested some $800,000 of its gas tax rebate from the federal government into street repairs this year, but he acknowledged “there is much more to be done.”
The town received some $3.46 million from the provincial government in 2011 for street and water/ sewer upgrades, but the projects — $1.2 million for Phase 1 to London Road, $1.62 million for Phase 1 to Lemarchant Road, and $635,000 for curbing, upgrading and paving on Crowdy Street, Valleyview Heights, Park Avenue and Earle’s Lane — were not started.
Ash said these projects will be completed next summer and fall. He added that the town has requested some $ 9 million in capital works funding for 2012.
One of the priorities on the list is the resurfacing of the outdoor running track at the Carbonear Recreation Complex. The facility will be a centre of activity when Carbonear and Harbour Grace plays host to the 2012 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games.
Looking back on 2011, Ash said it was another good year for the town. Some of the highlights include the following:
• $1 million upgrade to the swimming pool;
• 34 residential and 11 business approvals, with a total value of applications estimated as$7.45 million.
Work will continue in 2012 on a new K-8 school, and a 250-bed longterm care facility. These projects represent an estimated investment of more than $120 million.
“The town continues to experience growth and expansion,” Ash said.
The town will launch a new brand and marketing strategy in late January, and will also introduce a curbside recycling program in the spring.
Ash said the town’s retail sector will also experience “significant expansion” in 2012. Residential growth is also expected in a town that currently has just over 2,000 households.
“We continue to be a viable and sustainable community,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Ches Ash is shown presenting the 2012 municipal operating budget for the Town of Carbonear at a Dec. 20 council meeting.