Wolfville, NS – Last night’s Council meeting was very different to the normal monthly Council Meetings. With concerns for people’s health and wellness of paramount importance, only essential attendees were there, people were spread out as much as possible in Council Chambers and the essential business was handled as efficiently as possible. That said, at the March 17, 2020, Town Council Meeting Wolfville's Council approved an operating budget totalling $11.2 million for the fiscal year 2020/21, with a capital investment plan of $6.32 million.
Mayor Cantwell commented:
“We, Council and the Senior Management Team, are fortunate, once again, to have had early discussions and three “Draft” versions of our Annual Budget vetted through Committee of the Whole already and the direction by Committee of the Whole to staff, that we are agreed and comfortable with a minimal tax increase of 0.9% for 84% of residential properties, (as opposed to COLA of 1.6%) while paying particular attention to the requests of our public. For example, sidewalks, trails, parking and the like. This is a relief with our new fiscal year about to get underway”.
Mike MacLean, Director of Finance commented that
“This year’s budget successfully continues Council’s direction over the past few years to ensure tax increases stay within the cost of living adjustment. Senior Management, through the direction of the Office of the CAO, will enter the upcoming year with a clear mandate on a number of priorities as well as the budgetary flexibility to address Town services during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The Town’s Operating budget will continue to enhance Council priorities for the community.
In 2020/21 the Town will:
• Increase the Low Income Tax Exemption to $730, for those households not exceeding an income threshold of $28,000
• Continue to operationalize the priorities identified in the Town’s Accessibility Plan
• A further increase to the Grants to Organizations to cover additional one-time grant requests from outside organizations – a $100,000 increase over the last two budget years
• Dollars added to provide cost sharing to Acadia University for a Community Liaison position (dependent upon the University including the position in their upcoming budget)
• An additional $100,000 to the annual street maintenance budget
• Additions to the budget to improve winter maintenance of sidewalks, crosswalks and possibly bus shelters
• Major upgrades to the sanitary sewer treatment plan
• Budget dollars have been included to cover the second year of a two-year project to develop data and strategies around climate change
The 2020/21 Capital Budget is focused on the essential upgrading of the Town’s Sewer Treatment Plant. Dollars have also been approved to carry out upgrades at the Cenotaph Monument and the surrounding Post Office space, Reservoir Park, Evangeline Park and work will continue at the East End Gateway.
The complete 2020/21 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 - 902-599-2380
Mike MacLean, Director of Financial Service - 902-670-2388