SOURIS — Ocean Choice has delivered another financial hit to the Town of Souris.
The municipality was left reeling from the closure of the fish plant in the fall of 2012 with hundreds tossed out of work.
Now, Ocean Choice has successfully appealed to the province payment of property taxes that will draw $43,000 out of the town’s coffers.
The company appealed on the grounds it is no longer a commercial entity.
Souris Mayor David MacDonald is, needless to say, not terribly pleased with this turn of events.
“We’re obviously going to at least draft a letter (to the province) saying we don’t think it’s fair treatment,’’ he said.
“We can live with this,’’ he added. “We just don’t want to.’’
MacDonald says having to fork over $43,000 will mean the municipality will likely be forced to put a few initiatives on the backburner for a year or two.
Still, the town should be able to maintain all the regular municipal programming that residents are accustomed to receiving.
“Financially, we were in pretty good shape,’’ added MacDonald.
“We have been doing rather well in the past few years in terms of doing what we have to do.’’
MacDonald expects the municipal budget, which should be passed by council on April 8, to fall around $1.2 million.
In other municipal news in Souris, MacDonald says about 15 new No Smoking signs will be placed in outdoor areas like ball diamonds, soccer fields and parks within the next few weeks.
The town banned smoking in recreational areas in 2011.
MacDonald says compliance has been good.