Tax rates are heading down in Barrington Municipality after council approved its 2014/2015 fiscal budget on Monday, June 23.
Council approved a residential tax rate of $1.00 per $100 of assessment and a Commercial tax rate of $2.55 per $100 of assessment.
This is a reduction of $0.06 and $0.08 cents respectively for the residential and commercial tax rates.
Area fire rates have been increased in all districts to reflect full recovery of Fire Services costs through these rates. No Fire Services costs will be funded through the Residential or Commercial tax rates in future. The three area fire rates for the 2014/2015 fiscal year are: Woods Harbour/Shag Harbour $0.186; Island/Barrington Passage $0.094; Barrington/Port LaTour/Port Clyde $0.153.
Municipal representatives say the change will produce a better and more accountable Fire Service across the Municipality.
Sewer rates in both the Woods Harbour and Barrington sewer systems remain unchanged at $300 per unit.
Assessments in the Municipality have increased only 1.24% overall for the coming year, with residential assessments up 1.37% and commercial assessments down 0.72%
The 2014/2015 budget includes purchase of property adjacent to the Cape Sable Island Causeway for the construction of a picnic park and improvements to the McGray Avenue area with the addition of a floating dock. The Nature Trail on Sherose Island will be further upgraded during the summer months.
Dr. Noel Baker has been recruited to begin a full-time family practice in Barrington Passage in August of this year. The council welcomed him and his family back to the community and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
The Municipality is applying to the Provincial COMFIT program for the construction of a small scale wind turbine generator on the municipally owned C & D Landfill site.
Computer software and hardware is also being upgraded in the Municipal Office to improve efficiencies in report, invoicing and record keeping.
Additional heating and lighting efficiency projects are being implemented at municipal properties to reduce and minimize costs.
Capital Reserves will be increased by $177,000 to provide for future municipal projects.