Carbonear delivers 2017 budget
Interest adjustment policy expanded to more low-income families
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
Coun. Ray Noel, chair of Carbonear’s finance committee, delivered the municipality’s 2017 budget at the Dec. 20 council meeting.