Car­bon­ear de­liv­ers 2017 bud­get

In­ter­est ad­just­ment pol­icy ex­panded to more low-in­come fam­i­lies

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON TC ME­DIA

The Town of Car­bon­ear de­liv­ered its 2017 bud­get last Tues­day, pro­vid­ing de­tails on a num­ber of plans it has in store for the new year.

Spend­ing will be up by ap­prox­i­mately 4.5 per cent, with rev­enues and ex­pen­di­tures bud­geted at al­most $6.95 mil­lion for 2017 com­pared to al­most $6.65 mil­lion the pre­vi­ous year.

“Coun­cil’s ob­jec­tive with the 2017 mu­nic­i­pal op­er­at­ing bud­get is to at­tempt to en­sure that our re­sources are used in a most cost-ef­fec­tive man­ner as we ful­fill our man­date in pro­vid­ing con­tin­ued qual­ity ser­vices to our res­i­dents,” fi­nance com­mit­tee chair­man Ray Noel told fel­low coun­cil mem­bers as he pre­sented the new bud­get. “This bud­get con­tin­ues to pro­vide for growth and de­vel­op­ment while demon­strat­ing prac­ti­cal and pru­dent fi­nan­cial man­age­ment.”

Mil rates for com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties will not change in 2017, nor will the water and sewer rates.

There will be a no­tice­able change for some lower- in­come tax­pay­ers in the com­mu­nity. Pre­vi­ously, prop­erty own­ers with a fam­ily in­come below $35,000 were el­i­gi­ble for an in­ter­est ad­just­ment if they were look­ing to make monthly pay­ments on mu­nic­i­pal taxes. Start­ing in 2017, the thresh­old for the pro­gram will in­crease to $40,000.

“This is the third con­sec­u­tive year where this coun­cil has ex­panded this pro­gram to as­sist res­i­dents,” Noel noted. In 2014, the thresh­old was $30,000.

Spend­ing on trans­porta­tion ser­vices is up sig­nif­i­cantly in 2017. En­com­pass­ing street up­grades, as­phalt, side­walk con­struc­tion, snow re­moval and ditch­ing, the town is bud­get­ing $ 2.1 mil­lion for trans­porta­tion ser­vices, up from $1.9 mil­lion in 2016.

On the equip­ment side of things, the town will re­place a mini-ex­ca­va­tor and a loader. Car­bon­ear is also still in the midst of fi­nal­iz­ing the deal to set up its new de­pot on Pike’s Lane.

The town is in­vest­ing heav­ily in cul­ture and re­cre­ation, bud­get­ing al­most $1.2 mil­lion for those ser­vices. Last year, the town bud­get ap­prox­i­mately $900,000 for cul­ture and re­cre­ation. There will be play­ground im­prove­ments in 2017, light­ing for the new out­door ball hockey and skat­ing rinks, and $10,000 to im­prove re­cre­ation and leisure ser­vices for se­niors.

Per­mits were is­sued for 19 new hous­ing starts in 2016, which is al­most equal to the 20 per­mits is­sued in 2015. On the com­mer­cial side, 18 new busi­nesses opened in 2016, six of which were home-based. There were 20 busi­ness per­mits is­sued in 2015.

“We are op­ti­mistic that the 2017 year will ex­hibit more of the same,” said Noel. “The town con­tin­u­ally seeks po­ten­tial busi­nesses and de­vel­op­ers and an­tic­i­pates con­tin­ued growth.”

The town con­tin­u­ally seeks po­ten­tial busi­nesses and de­vel­op­ers and an­tic­i­pates con­tin­ued growth. Coun. Ray Noel

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/TC ME­DIA

Coun. Ray Noel, chair of Car­bon­ear’s fi­nance com­mit­tee, de­liv­ered the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s 2017 bud­get at the Dec. 20 coun­cil meet­ing.

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