Town unveils its budget estimates
© Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
Montague Town Hall
The commercial tax rate is going up as eastern P.E.I.'s largest town intends to make the municipality "more desirable" and create an "environment of optimism" as part of the 2016 budget estimates unveiled this week.
Residential rates remain stable, but the commercial rate will increase by five cents as a way to raise additional funds to help the town fill a funding pot towards some economic development projects planned ahead.
Finance treasurer Jill Walsh unveiled the $1.3 million budget at town hall and said the high priority items are police and fire services along with legal obligations and maintenance of town sidewalks and equipment.
The town is also pursuing an unprecedented attempt to turn over the entire 12 kilometres of town streets and road to the government.
"The town is pursuing the objective that the province take over all our town streets because the municipal grant they give us each year to take care of the infrastructure does not cover the maintenance costs,'' she said.
The town said it also took steps to reduce fossil fuels by installing a heat pump at the town hall and wants to continue with such objectives.
Two budget estimates include a waterfront and economic development which is in combination with plans to seek provincial and federal funding for a south side development project as well as improving the growing waterfront marina. The budget alone for this summer to provide for entertainment at the marina is $10,000.
There are plans in the works for the redevelopment of the former Clark's building on Main Street since the rear of the building has a near perfect view of the river and is expected to be one of the lead buildings in marina development.
"We want to foster an environment of optimism in Montague and we are generating enough revenue to cover all services,'' said Walsh.