Pla­cen­tia adopts 2014 bud­get

Fu­ture looks bright

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

The Town of Pla­cen­tia adopted its 2014 mu­nic­i­pal op­er­at­ing bud­get on Dec. 17 and the fu­ture looks bright for the com­mu­nity.

Coun. Dan Greene, chair­man of the fi­nance com­mit­tee, brought down the bud­get, which tops out at some $4.2 mil­lion.

“We are pleased to ad­vise that due to our dili­gence and sound fis­cal man­age­ment, we will not be in­creas­ing taxes this year,” Greene said in his ad­dress.

Al­though prop­erty val­ues in Pla­cen­tia have in­creased by 23 per cent, the coun­cil de­cided against rais­ing its mill rate and left it at 8.5 mils.

To find out what you’ll be pay­ing in taxes in the new year, take the value your prop­erty has been as­sessed at, mul­ti­ply it by the new mill rate and then di­vide that num­ber by 1,000.

The town has elim­i­nated the poll tax for this year, while add a wa­ter me­ter tax to be ad­min­is­tered should the need arise.

Greene noted ex­pen­di­tures for the 2014 bud­get have in­creased by some $140,000 “due largely to labour costs, com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives and fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.”

One of th­ese com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives is the $35,000 al­lot­ted for com­mu­nity events be­ing held in the town square aimed at en­cour­ag­ing tourism and cul­tural growth.

As one of the ear­li­est French set­tle­ments in At­lantic Canada, the com­mu­nity has plenty of cul­ture to of­fer tourists.

Per­haps one of the big­ger parts of the bud­get is the ad­di­tional sup­port ear­marked for the Pla­cen­tia Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment.

“In rec­og­niz­ing the value of our fire depart­ment and in recog­ni­tion of their ef­forts, coun­cil has in­creased the stipend paid to fire fight­ers by 20 per cent,” noted Greene.

As it stands with the bud­get, fire fight­ers will re­ceive $27,270 di­vided amongst them, while the fire chief will re­ceive &2,911.

The town has also put aside $9,000 for train­ing. There is also an in­crease to the op­er­at­ing bud­get for the depart­ment by 12.5 per cent or $90,652.

Pla­cen­tia was re­cently struck by a storm surge that caused con­sid­er­able dam­age to the town’s board­walk, as well as other dam­ages.

“Talks are un­der­way with engi­neers and all lev­els of gov­ern­ment as to how best to re­pair and strengthen against fu­ture storms,” said Greene.

Pla­cen­tia has com­mit­ted to pur­chase a gen­er­a­tor for the town hall as well.

Other high­lights from the 2014 bud­get in­clude:

• $ 70,000 for an engineering study for im­prove­ments to wa­ter qual­ity in Dunville and Fresh­wa­ter;

• $12,500 con­tri­bu­tion to re­cre­ational equip­ment up­grades such as play­ground equip­ment and a skate park;

• Pave­ment recapping pro­gram will con­tinue in the spring with an ad­di­tional lift of pave­ment be­ing ap­plied to Prince Wil­liam Drive and Block­house Road;

• Coun­cil re­mu­ner­a­tion of $45,675;

• $187,977 for snow clear­ing;

• $429,900 for garbage col­lec­tion and dis­posal.

“I would like to thank the other mem­bers of the fi­nance com­mit­tee and man­age­ment and staff for their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to pre­par­ing this bal­anced bud­get,” said Greene.

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