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Image: Submitted/Town of Grand Bay-Westfield

Grand Bay-Westfield approves $8.4M budget for 2024

By Brad Perry Nov 16, 2023 | 10:18 AM

Grand Bay-Westfield council has given its approval to next year’s $8.4-million operating budget.

Some residents will see their property tax rate go down while others will see an increase.

The property tax rate for Ward 1 has been set at $1.31 per $100 of assessed value, a drop of nearly 4.3 cents.

Residents in Ward 2 — the former Westfield West LSD — will see a more than 7.3-cent increase to 67.59 cents.

“Grand Bay-Westfield continues to be fiscally responsible, however, we continue to experience external and internal financial pressures including inflation, cuts to grant funding, as well as moving snow and ice control operations to an in-house model,” the town said in a news release.

“While snow and ice control costs are seeing a significant increase, that increase is much lower than remaining with a contracted service.”

The tender fee was almost $1.1 million, while the in-house cost is expected to approach $900,000.

In their presentation to council, town staff noted their financial position is “fragile” with limited revenue generation capacity.

That is because much of the 11.4 per cent assessment base increase was due to market adjustment compared to new development.

Grand Bay-Westfield plans to launch a new development incentive program to address the “missing middle” and seniors housing.

Developers will be eligible to receive an upfront capital cost grant, a post-completion incentive grant, or both if the development is at least 24 units.

Meanwhile, town staff are proposing to increase the sewerage rate from $350 to $370 to help cover increased maintenance and reserve allocations.

The 2024 draft sewerage budget is $709,000, a nine per cent increase over 2023.