Overt optimism in Spaniard’s Bay
Council adopts 2012 budget; expecting higher commercial revenues in future
Municipal leaders in Spaniard’s Bay are expressing optimism about the future, with the town expecting to bolster its coffers in the coming years as the proposed Veterans Memorial Business Park moves closer to reality.
That was one of the assessments of deputy mayor Tony Menchions after he brought down the town’s 2012 municipal operating budget earlier this month.
“We’re going to be a contender,” Menchions, who chairs the finance committee, quipped following the Dec. 12 meeting.
Next year’s budget came in at $1.85 million, a slight decrease over 2011.
Council unanimously adopted the budget without any increases in property or water/ sewer tax rates for residents.
However, council introduced a new system of taxation for companies that plan to set up operation in the business park, which is located in Tilton, just off Veterans Memorial Hi g hway. T h e comme r c i a l water/ sewer rates for businesses were set at 2.1 mils, with a minimum charge of $ 500, and a commercial permit fee of $ 7.50 per $1,000 of value.
“These rates, once in use, will cover the increased costs associated with such a development and are in line with similar business districts on the Avalon. These charges are not expected to have any impact on our budget until 2013,” Menchions stated during his budget presentation.
After months of speculation about the status of the massive commercial development, Menchions expressed optimism and confidence in the project, and suggested it will mean great things for Spaniard’s Bay and the entire region.
Asked about the lack of activity at the site, Menchions said it’s not uncommon for such projects to take four to five years to develop.
He suggested that the projected tax revenue from the business park will dramatically change the town’s financial situation, with a large percentage of revenues currently coming from property taxes.
“That gap should narrow significantly when this park is up and running,” Menchions stated.
The town will also see a significant decrease in the amount of money it pays in debt charges, with several large loans expected to be paid off in the coming months. One of those loans require monthly payments of $16,000.
Menchions said this will free up muchneed funds for other capital projects, including repairs to the sewer outfall and paving on New Harbour Road, Ridge Road, Northern Cove Pond Road and Wharf Lane.
Another notable change in fees for 2012 is an increase in the amount charged for connecting to the municipal water and sewer system. The rate has increased from $1,000 to $1,500.
“The new rate is more in line with the actual cost of providing such a connection,” said Menchions.
Deputy Mayor Tony Menchions presents details of the 2012 operating budget for the Town of Spaniard’s Bay during a meeting on Dec. 12. Also pictured are Mayor John Drover (left) and councillors Eric Jewer and Brenda Seymour (right).