Balanced budget, but higher taxes

Sue Hickey
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Mayor admits having to overcome fiscal challenges

Botwood Mayor Jerry Dean.

Residents in Botwood will be paying higher taxes this year.

The town council and staff have brought down their budget for 2012.

According to Mayor Jerry Dean, the town has had to face "numerous fiscal challenges," however, council brought down a balanced budget of $2.43 million.

"We've had no control over some of the things that are coming down, so we're not surprised that we had to do what we had to do."

Waste management, where all the municipalities in the central region will have to deal with the possibly increased costs of trash disposal, is one of the items that will cost more.

"We've got to deal with it as best we can," added the mayor. "There are a number of issues, and this is not unique to Botwood."

However, some taxes, like the property tax mil rate, are staying status quo at 9.75.

"We contemplated the mil rate, but we left it alone, because we thought going the other way was a fairer way of coming up with the money."

The total expenditures of $2.43 million is an 8 per cent increase over 2011.

According to the mayor, beyond regular inflation and cost increases, the town faced significant cost pressures in the areas of garbage disposal, water delivery and insurance.

The town also had to overcome a loss of revenue with the conclusion of provincial government payments related to the closure of AbitibiBowater.

Water rates were also increased by $25 per year, to offset anticipated cost pressures related to water delivery, according to the mayor.

People in municipalities served by the regional waste management site, including Botwood, will pay a new annual waste management fee, equivalent to $5 per month, to fund costs associated with the opening of the new site.

The poll tax was increase from $200 to $250 annually, along with other minor tax changes related to the new rate.

"Not being immune to inflation, escalating fuel costs, and with a sober observation for the most past, seeing the more prosperous communities in our province having to levy increases of some sort, our ship has, and continues, to weather the economic storm in a prudent manner," stated Mayor Dean.

Organizations: AbitibiBowater

Geographic location: Botwood

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