The Town of Shelburne will hold the line on tax rates this year despite challenges with increasing costs for services like policing and an aging infrastructure.
Residential ($2.04 per $100 of assessment) and Commercial ($3.86 per $100 of assessment) tax rates will remain unchanged this year. Sewer charges will also remain steady at $198 per unit.
The Town will continue to phase in the new Solid Waste Collection Charge but this year the charge will be expressed only as a flat fee. New this year is a Low-Income Property Tax exemption program which will provide up to $100 of tax relief to qualifying tax payers.
Rising costs were noted as a future challenge. It was also noted that several Town-owned buildings will require repairs and maintenance this year.
One new staff person â€“ Lauren Robinson â€“ has joined the Townâ€™s administration this year. The vacant Manager of Public Works and Infrastructure position will not be filled this year.
Other new initiatives in this yearâ€™s Operating Budget include assuming responsibility for the coordination of Founders Daysâ€™ events (the Town has committed $5,000 plus significant staff support to making the event a success), a commitment of $3,000 for a new tree-planting initiative, and an increase of more than 30% to the grants to organizations budget (which supports local non-profit groups).
This yearâ€™s Operating Budget also includes new commitments to work with neighboring municipal units to foster economic development and tourism in our area. The Town of Lockeport has partnered with the Town of Shelburne to create a new Tourism & Events position for a period of 20 months beginning this year. The Council welcomed Eyra Abraham as the new coordinator in April. Also new this year is a commitment to join the new Regional Enterprise Network 2 economic cooperation venture, along with other municipal units in Shelburne, Queens and Lunenburg counties.
The 2014/15 operating budget continues the practice of last yearâ€™s budget, investing in capital reserves; this yearâ€™s contribution will be $71,316. These reserves are used to fund much needed infrastructure replacements and upgrades which will be included in the Townâ€™s upcoming three-year Capital Budget.