Eyes on the roads

Car­bon­ear coun­cil iden­ti­fies street up­grades as a top pri­or­ity for 2012

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

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.

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