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Holyrood council aims to encourage economic growth with 2019 budget

Holyrood Mayor Gary Goobie presented the town’s 2019 at the Dec. 18 council meeting.
Holyrood Mayor Gary Goobie presented the town’s 2019 at the Dec. 18 council meeting. - Andrew Robinson

No tax or fee increases introduced as town sets spending at almost $3.9 million

HOLYROOD, N.L.

Holyrood council believes its 2019 budget has found a balance between providing the services residents expect while also addressing the community’s economic future through business development initiatives.

That’s what Mayor Gary Goobie said in a presentation made prior to a unanimous vote to approve a balanced budget of almost $3.9 million. The budget includes no tax or fee increases for residents and commercial property owners.

“I believe it’s a fair, responsible and balanced-approach budget, meeting the needs and expectations of our residents,” Goobie said Tuesday, Dec. 18.

In 2018, approximately 70 new jobs were created in Holyrood through new businesses. Goobie said the town has made a consistent effort to engage industries and find ways to build partnerships.

“This outward reach and partnership building is creating a progressive approach to how we do business as a municipality and is allowing council to offer services without cost increases to our residents,” Goobie said.

Indeed, the ability to bring new business to Holyrood is helpful to the town’s taxpayers. The $3.875-million price tag on the 2019 budget is up six per cent over the previous year. The town will manage this increase without raising taxes or increasing fees and in spite of the fact it was a somewhat slow year for new housing development.

“While we’re seeing reduced economic activity, especially in the residential area, which has resulted in a lower increase in revenues along with increases in operating expenditures, it speaks well that we are able to maintain the status quo in taxation,” said Coun. Jim Joy.

For protective services, which encompasses fire protection and municipal enforcement, the town increased its budget by 11 per cent for 2019. Fire inspections will now be carried out two days a week beginning in the new year, and municipal enforcement will jump from being active for two days a week to five. The town has also placed getting a new fire station as a priority in a new funding proposal for the federal government through the Canada Infrastructure Program.

The biggest budget item for the town will be its transportation services, which includes road maintenance and water and sewer work. The town will complete $1-million worth of water projects in 2019 through already-approved Multi-Year Capital Works projects.

On recreation, new investment is planned for a new community garden, parks and sports facilities. As in year’s past, there are also measures in place to help low-income households and seniors with paying their taxes. A payment plan option allows residents to settle their bills over an eight-month period without paying interest, and seniors receiving the general income supplement and households with a combined income of less than $20,000 will each receive a 20 per cent discount on property tax.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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2019 Revenue:

Property Tax Revenue (Residential) — $2,028,000.00

Property Tax Revenue (Commercial) — $388,668.39

Business Tax Revenue — $346,456.98

Water & Sewer Tax (Residential & Commercial) — $478,027.00

Government Transfers — $289,293.00

Sales of Goods & Services — $121,206.00

Other Revenue from own sources — $105,107.33

Utility Tax — $118,930.36

Total – $3,875,689.06

2019 Expenditure:

General Government — $771,776.95

Protective Services — $355,146.61

Transportation Services — $1,374,434.35

Environmental Health — $305,073.84

Planning & Development — $234,049.20

Recreation & Cultural Services — $258,054.00

Fiscal Services — $577,151.11

Total — $3,875,689.06

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