No ma­jor changes in Bri­gus bud­get

New garbage col­lec­tion con­tract starts in 2015

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

Ef­forts to ser­vice the for­mer Bri­gus Gul­lies area with wa­ter and sewer and rou­tine main­te­nance are among the items the Town of Bri­gus will fo­cus on for 2015.

Lo­cal coun­cil re­cently passed its bud­get for the New Year. The town has bud­geted $762,520 in ex­pendi- tures for 2015 — a to­tal that is com­pa­ra­ble to re­cent bud­gets passed by coun­cil, ac­cord­ing to Mayor By­ron Rod­way.

“We’re in the $700,000 to $800,000 bud­get (range) for the last few years,” said the mayor. The 2015 bud­get fig­ure is up marginally from 2014’s to­tal of $754,164. The town’s mil rates re­main un­changed.

“The prop­erty val­ues in Bri­gus are very high, es­pe­cially in the old por­tion of Bri­gus,” said Rod­way, who es­ti­mates that more than a quar­ter of the 510 homes in the com­mu­nity be­long to sea­sonal res­i­dents.

As of the end of Novem­ber, there were 12 new hous­ing starts in Bri­gus for 2014.

“I guess ev­ery year peo­ple build 12 or 15,” said the mayor. “We don’t have a lot of area for big sub­di­vi­sions to open up. Out in the older por­tion of Bri­gus, there’s not a lot of land left for de­vel­op­ment — some, but not enough.”

The po­ten­tial for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment in the Bri­gus Gul­lies area is real, but Rod­way said that’s con­tin­gent on the es­tab­lish­ment of wa­ter and sewer ser­vices plus other fac­tors.

“It’s time to have it all ser­viced now, and we’re con­stantly ap­ply­ing for cap­i­tal works fund­ing,”

The mayor ex­pects it may still take years to make that hap­pen, but the town hopes to make small strides to­wards re­al­iz­ing that goal. Rod­way said the town is in a good po­si­tion fi­nan­cially and op­er­ated debt-free for two straight years.

Garbage col­lec­tion changes

Among the changes in store for res­i­dent in 2015 is a new garbage col­lec­tion ser­vice. The town awarded a three-year con­tract to Ridge G & P Ser­vices Ltd. for the weekly col­lec­tion of garbage.

As a re­sult of the new con­tract, garbage col­lec­tion will now take place on Tues­day in­stead of Wed­nes­day. Bulk garbage will also be col­lected ev­ery week in­stead of twice an­nu­ally.

“In­cred­i­bly enough, we’ve been able to do this with­out pass­ing along a tax in­crease of any sort to the res­i­dents,” said the mayor. “We’re pretty ex­cited about that … It should be a bet­ter ser­vice.”

Curb­side re­cy­cling will not be cov­ered un­der the new col­lec­tion ar­range­ment. Rod­way reck­ons that ser­vice will be­come a re­al­ity in Bri­gus at some point, not­ing too that sorted re­cy­clables carry a re­duced tip­ping fee com­pared to reg­u­lar waste when brought to the Robin Hood Bay Waste Man­age­ment Fa­cil­ity.

“I think most com­mu­ni­ties that are do­ing (curb­side re­cy­cling) are very happy with it, but it’s not in our im­me­di­ate plan.”

Rod­way said the town is con­sid­er­ing in­tro­duc­ing new road signs. New play­ground equip­ment is al­ready in the com­mu­nity and set to be in­stalled this spring. Funds to im­prove the light­house walk­ing trail were also set aside in the bud­get.

Com­pass file photo

The Town of Bri­gus will op­er­ate in 2015 with a bud­get of $762,520.

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