Heading into the 2014 budget season, the Town of Whiteway had the simple goal of avoid raising taxes.
With the adoption of its municipal operating budget for this year, the town had achieved its goal.
Whiteway kept its mill rate at a paltry 7.25, which Mayor Craig Whelan calls “one of the lowest for sure.”
This matches last year’s rate, when the town dropped it .75 from the previous rate.
To find out what you'll be paying in taxes, take the value your property has been assessed at, multiply it by the new mill rate and then divide that number by 1,000.
“Our objective was to not try and raise taxes,” said Whelan, who also serves as the finance committee chair.
This year, Whiteway was able to balance its ledger at $466,700. This is an increase of approximately $38,000.
“We were able to put some money in there to do a little bit of spending this year,” said Whelan.
Whiteway is in a unique position as a community.
The town has very little debt, with its ratio sitting at seven per cent for this year.
Whiteway’s only payment is for its water tower, which is nearing completion.
“I’m very proud to say that is the only major payment the town is going to incur this year,” said Whelan. “When you sit down to do a budget, it’s good that you don’t have to pay a lot of bills.”
This means the money the town is taking in from residents and businesses give officials the opportunity to put that money back into the community, rather than the majority of it going to debt payments.
“It’s good fiscal management,” said Whelan.
Proud of budget
Whelan said he was “tremendously proud” of the budget he and his council were able to put forward.
“We kept our mill rate the same, paid off some debt, increased spending to improve things in the town and that’s the name of the game when it comes to the town,” said the mayor.
With the increase in budget, coupled with the decrease in spending, the hope is the town can get some infrastructure needs completed.
“We’re going to try and come up with a little bit of paving,” said Whelan.
Water tower importance
Getting the water tower completed is the key piece to Whiteway’s puzzle.
“When we lose power, we lose water,” said Whelan.
The tower would allow the town to have three days of water should a storm cause a power outage similar to the one earlier this year.
Other highlights of the budget include the following:
• $7,200 for council remuneration;
• $8,200 earmarked for fire protection;
• $13,000 for snow removal;
• $21,400 for community improvement and development; and
• $5,000 recreation administration.