Victoria looks to hold steady with 2015 budget
The Town of Victoria will look to manage its affairs in a fiscally sustainable fashion in 2015.
The municipal government in charge of the community of almost 1,800 is set to spend $1.52 million this year, a slight increase over the 2014 budget total of $1.47 million.
“We got more households being (built) in the town every year, which means the cost of operating our equipment and keeping those house serviced — the infrastructure that has got to go in — that’s pretty much going to increase every year,” Mayor Barry Dooley told The Compass following council’s most recent meeting.
The town made some notable purchases in 2014 — a new backhoe and a Dodge Ram plow. For 2015, water and sewer upgrades will be at the forefront of council’s priorities.
“There are some projects coming up in the works that we haven’t finalized yet,” said Dooley, adding that pavement work should follow over the next three years as water and sewer upgrades are made.
Under the cost-sharing agreement with the province, the Town of Victoria covers 10 per cent of the cost of any jointly funded infrastructure project.
“Our town is very financially stable, but in saying that, if we have a major project that comes up that we’re not funded for, then that money can go pretty quick,” said the mayor. “There’s no such thing as a $10,000 project with a town. It’s either hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions of dollars, if something major comes up.”
In other town matters, council members are encouraging residents to display their civic street address on homes to help emergency responders.
Calls to do just that have become more widespread across Newfoundland and Labrador in the lead up to the introduction of a provincewide 911 service.
“We’re not old school where 20 years ago, you knew your neighbours 10 to 15 houses down the road,” said Dooley. “You knew everybody who lived in every house. Now, you don’t know probably who’s living next door to you with the migration of younger couples from other towns.”
Therefore, if a civic address number is not visible from outside your home, the potential for an ambulance driver to miss your home may get complicated by the fact people in neighbouring homes do not know where paramedics should go.
Town clerk Shelly Butt said irregular numbering patterns might also cause confusion, as one home with a civic address of two could be followed by a home with an eight beside its front door.
“In here, every 50 feet has a number, so that same person might own 150 feet,” she said.
A note about this issue was previously posted on the town’s official website.
Mayor Barry Dooley presides over the Town of Victoria’s Jan 19 meeting.