Tax rates steady in Car­bon­ear

Fi­nance com­mit­tee chair says town in good fi­nan­cial shape for 2015

The Compass - - OPINION - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Res­i­dents of Car­bon­ear will be pleased to hear the town’s tax rates will not in­crease for 2015.

In an ad­dress to coun­cil Mon­day, Dec. 15, fi­nance com­mit­tee chair Coun. Ray Noel de­clared Car­bon­ear is in great fi­nan­cial shape for the com­ing year.

“We find our­selves in a favourable fi­nan­cial po­si­tion and we com­mit to main­tain­ing such,” he ex­plained.

The town will re­main deficit free, and Noel added its debt ser­vic­ing ra­tio of 14 per cent is well be­low Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs’ rec­om­mended 30 per cent thresh­old.

For 2015, Noel an­nounced the mill rate for res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties will re­main at 7.6, while com­mer­cial rates will hold steady at 10.25.

Bud­get

The bud­get was bro­ken down by depart­ment, with a $ 200,000 in­crease to an­nual ex­pen­di­tures bring­ing it to just over $5.9 mil­lion.

One of the largest costs for this year’s bud­get will again be the trans­porta­tion depart­ment. Over the past six years, trans­porta­tion and works has up­graded an ag­ing fleet of ve­hi­cles, and will con­tinue to up­grade in the com­ing year, said Pub­lic Works di­rec­tor Brian O’Grady.

A 2006 Ford truck is be­ing re­tired this year, and will be re­placed. Also, a 1985 grader has run its course.

“It has been put in the cur­rent bud­get for re­place­ment,” O’Grady said.

Some $300,000, same as 2014, will be bud­geted for as­phalt main­te­nance and re­pair, as well as $35,000 for side­walks.

Car­bon­ear has placed a strong em­pha­sis on im­prov­ing recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties in re­cent years, and this year is no dif­fer­ent. Of the $819,000 al­lot­ted for recre­ation and cul­ture ser­vices, $41,000 will go to­wards recre­ation im­prove­ments and $33,000 for up­grades to the Princess Sheila NaGeira The­atre.

A sav­ings of $20,000 for waste col­lec­tion was con­firmed due to the open­ing of the Waste Re­cov­ery Fa­cil­ity in Har­bour Grace late last year. That money will now get dis­persed among other de­part­ments.

The down­town area will also re­ceive up­grades in 2015, with a $50,000 in­vest­ment for en­hance­ments. The re­main­der of the $205,570 of the tourism, mar­ket­ing and de­vel­op­ment bud­get will be spread among un­spec­i­fied projects.

For 2014, 538 per­mits were is­sued for con­struc­tion and ren­o­va­tions. The value of those projects almost reached $9.1 mil­lion. Twenty-nine per­mits for new hous­ing starts were is­sued and 11 for new busi­nesses.

“We are con­fi­dent the 2015 year will ex­hibit more of the same,” Noel said. their com­put­ers and play­ing video games, King was happy she could help get the chil­dren out­side for some slid­ing fun.

Hope is not let­ting her di­ag­no­sis get her down. She has do­nated food to those in need and re­mained pos­i­tive through­out her fight. This wish was just the ic­ing on the cake for her.

But it wasn’t just a wish for some. Hope, Smith and Har­bour Grace Coun. Kathy Tet­ford grew up as neigh­bours on the same lane, slid­ing the same hill. They jok­ingly re­ferred to them­selves as the three mus­ke­teers. “Mir­a­cles do hap­pen,” Tet­ford ex­plained. Beyond slid­ing, there were treats to en­joy at

Sev­eral items in the bud­get have been in dis­cus­sion for quite some time.

Projects the town wants to be­gin at a cost of some $5 mil­lion will be depende n t o n g o v e r n m e n t ap­proval. Coun­cil hopes to re­ceive a cost share of 80/20 through the Build­ing Canada Fund.

Mean­while, ear­lier this year, the Car­bon­ear coun­cil an­nounced it would hire an Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer (EDO).

In the bud­get, the an­nual salary for a new EDO will be be­tween $50,000 and $55,000. Re­cruit­ment and hir­ing will take place early 2015.

Fi­nally, Noel re­minded coun­cil the fed­eral waste­water sys­tem for ef­flu­ent will come into ef­fect in 2020 at a cost of some $20-$30 mil­lion. It is still un­known what kind of cost­share pro­gram will be in­tro­duced to help shoul­der the bur­den of the hefty price tag.

“… we will be tak­ing mea­sures to de­velop a re­serve ac­count to help pre­pare for this in­creased cost,” he said. the event. There were cups hot choco­late with whipped cream and candy canes, a weiner roast, and lots of marsh­mal­lows, all do­nated by staff from Pow­ell’s Su­per­mar­ket and Breaktime Cof­fee.

There was also a bar­rel fire, so peo­ple could warm up.

About 100 peo­ple, mostly adults, stopped by to give their well wishes to Hope, and wish her luck with her can­cer bat­tle.

“All of this came from the heart,” Smith said. “This is what friend­ship was when I grew up.”

Hope King (sit­ting cen­tre), Linda Smith and Kathy Tet­ford are joined on the hill of snow by all the chil­dren who took part in Hope’s wish.

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

Coun. Ray Noel chairs the Town of Car­bon­ear’s fi­nance com­mit­tee. He de­liv­ered the 2015 bud­get on Mon­day, Dec. 15.

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