BAY ROBERTS, N.L.
There will be no tax increases across the board for Bay Roberts residents and business owners.
Council unanimously approved its budget for 2019 at the Tuesday, Dec. 11 meeting, during which Deputy Mayor Walter Yetman presented some budget highlights.
The budget includes no increases for property, business or water and sewer taxes.
“Considering the downturn in the provincial economy, we are hoping to see more new housing starts and increased business activity to provide more revenue,” said Yetman, chair of the town’s finance committee. “We are pleased to see some local business expansions and with the addition of our new sidewalks and possible future development of our business park, we hope to see more development in the years to come.”
For 2019 the town has a balanced budget of $7.66 million set in stone (that figure does not include any potential multi-year capital works projects shared with the provincial government). That’s down substantially from the 2018 budget of $9 million. Yetman explained this is because there was funding carried over from 2017 to 2018 to complete some unfinished projects.
Among the big-ticket items is the town’s public works capital and operational budget, set at $3.3 million. Bay Roberts will purchase a new loader and a side-load garbage truck in 2019, plus a sidewalk plow with accessories to make it useable year-round. There’s also $250,000 earmarked for a new pumping station at Delaney’s Avenue in Shearstown.
The budget for the newly-renamed Bay Roberts Fire and Rescue was increased $10,000 to a total of almost $175,000 for 2019. Within that, remuneration for the department was increased from $35,000 to $40,000 (this includes remuneration for the fire chief) as a means to retain current firefighters and attract new ones.
Looking ahead to the 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games, the town has budgeted $50,000 for operations in 2019 and $220,000 for infrastructure upgrades related to the games.
In other infrastructure news, the town expects to complete upgrades to Goose Pond Hill and has money allocated for sidewalk, storm drainage and curbing improvements for Bishop’s Road, Pepper’s Road and Station Road.
“I think infrastructure is something we’ve stressed, and I think you can’t go wrong when you’re talking about infrastructure improvements and upgrades,” added Mayor Philip Wood.
As has been the case in previous years, a five per cent discount will be applied to early payments on tax bills in Bay Roberts. That figure jumps to 10 per cent for seniors, who can also apply for a payment plan if they’re living on a reduced income.
Council @Town_BayRoberts Tuesday passed its 2019 Budget unanimously-highlights include; no tax increases, funding for capital purchases, infrastructure, 2020 NL Summer Games, BRFD & continued discount incentives for taxpayers. @VOCMNEWS @walteryetman pic.twitter.com/xn0Lh31cHt— Philip Wood (@BR_Mayor) December 12, 2018