Marystown adopts reduced budget for 2017
Council asking departments to find possible cost savings
Marystown council passed a balanced budget for the coming year with a small reduction in revenues and expenditures from 2016 during its regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 20.
The 2017 budget has been set at $7,457,857, less $232,243 than the current year.
Finance committee chairman Deputy Mayor Al Spencer pointed to a downturn in the economy on the Burin Peninsula in the past year during his comments, noting the town has also seen less tax revenue.
As such, he said council has decided to lessen the impact to residents by asking all departments to find as much ef- ficiency as it can.
“This process was started by the directors in late 2016,” Spencer said.
“However, council feels that each department of the town must be thoroughly looked at in the coming months to identify other possible areas of cost savings for 2017 and beyond.”
Spencer said residential and commercial mill rates have been kept the same, at seven mills and eight mills, respectively.
While water and sewer rates are also staying the same, due to high costs, tax remissions offered to some organizations are being repealed.
Poll tax, development applications and licence and permit fees will all remain unchanged, Spencer added.
“We have been able to maintain our taxes on the lower end of the scale compared to similar-sized towns and other communities on the Burin Peninsula,” Spencer said.
“Although this budget shows a decrease, it will not result in any downgrading or loss of existing services offered to residents of the town.”
Spencer said while debt char- ges show a decrease of $52,683 for 2017, the amounts will increase in the years ahead as other ongoing capital works projects are completed and financed.
The town, meanwhile, will offer residents a new way to pay their taxes in 2017 by introducing a preauthorized debit plan. Residents who are not in tax arrears will be able to make 10 equal payments with no in- terest charges.
Spencer said more information will be available about the plan on the town’s website soon.
Council has also been discussing a joint pilot project with the Burin Peninsula Regional Service Board to establish a municipal enforcement officer in the coming year, Spencer said.