Vic­to­ria looks to hold steady with 2015 bud­get

The Compass - - OPINION - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.”

House num­bers

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.

Photo by An­drew Robin­son/The Com­pass

Mayor Barry Doo­ley pre­sides over the Town of Vic­to­ria’s Jan 19 meet­ing.

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