Wolfville Council Approves 2019/20 Budget and Operations Plan
Wolfville, NS – At the March 19, 2019, Town Council Meeting Wolfville's Council approved an operating budget totalling $10.7 million for the fiscal year 2019/20, with a capital investment plan of $4.15 million.
Mayor, Jeff Cantwell, confirmed ‘I am very happy that, once again, we have been able to pass a budget for the new fiscal year while being able to continue our strategic initiatives with minimum effect on the tax rate for residents.’
Director of Financial Services, Mike MacLean, advised ‘On average, the property tax bill for residents will increase by 1.76%, which is below the cost of living adjustment. We will also have the highest level of property tax exemption for low income residents in the Valley, and are very pleased that we are able to offer that exemption, all within a balanced budget.’
The approved residential tax rate has increased by ½ cent to $1.465 per $100 of assessment which means, for 86% of residential properties, on average tax bills will increase less than the cost of living. Similarly, the Commercial Tax rate has increased by ½ cent per $100 to $3.575; while the Business Development Area Rate has been reduced by 2 cents, good news for local businesses.
The Town’s Operating budget will continue to enhance Council priorities for the community. In 2019/20 the Town will:
• Hire a Climate Change & Energy Coordinator to increase its focus on environmental initiatives
• Continue to Partner with the Town of Kentville and Berwick and the County of Kings to complete a Regional Recreation Needs Assessment
• Continue to build on the partnership with Acadia University and Acadia Students Union to promote community harmony
• Provide Grants to Organizations in the value of $178,900 through the Strategic Partnership Program, Community Partnership Program and other grants approved by Council
• Complete the amendments to the Town’s Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use Bylaw
• Develop a Party Registration Bylaw
• Conduct a community engagement exercise to help better define the Town’s recreational needs and values
• Increase the Low Income Tax Exemption to $650, for those households not exceeding an income threshold of $27,413
• Start to operationalize the priorities identified in the Town’s Accessibility Plan.
The 2019/20 Capital Budget continues Council’s focus on improving the basic street infrastructure as well as community areas, amenities and protecting our shoreline. Streets included for infrastructure renewal are Seaview Avenue, Westwood (Main to Irving Centre), and Gaspereau – Willow (up to Civic 94).
Capital investment over the next two fiscal years in the amount of $850,000 will turn the East End gateway to the Town into a welcoming and enjoyable space for visitors and residents alike. Upgrades will include a new Visitor Information Centre, upgrades to Willow Park, and upgrades to the Harvest Moon Trail Head that will all serve to announce and articulate the arrival into Wolfville’s vibrant Downtown core.
The complete 2019/20 Budget and Operations Plan will be available on the Town of Wolfville's website at www.wolfville.ca.
For Additional Information Contact:
Erin Beaudin, CAO
Mike MacLean, Director of Financial Services