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Tax rates unchanged as Barrington passes budget

By Evan Taylor Apr 30, 2024 | 12:12 PM

A rendering of the new recreation centre in Barrington. Photo: Government of Nova Scotia.

The Municipality of Barrington has passed its budget for the upcoming year with tax rates holding steady for both residential and commercial ratepayers.

At their latest council meeting the $10,686,954  operating budget was passed, along with $12,251,153 in capital expenditures.

“I think this is an aggressive budget that addresses some big things in our area, while also not burdening our residents with a rate increase,’ said Barrington Warden Eddie Nickerson. “It helps that assessments are up, so while we didn’t increase rates we are generating more in revenue this year,”.

With the increases in revenue from assessments (around $600,000) Nickerson says the Municipality was able to continue its work on more ambitious projects, most notably the new recreation centre. The municipality is putting $9.5 million towards the project from this year’s capital expenses, with hopes of the facility opening by next Spring or early Summer.

“It’s going to be a space for everyone, for sports, for events and our hope is it will be something everyone in the municipality gets value from,” said Nickerson.

The other major capital expense is $1.2 million for the community health centre, which is now in the design phase.

Nickerson says it’s the municipalities way of helping out with healthcare, providing a modern medical centre where residents will be able to get a variety of healthcare services and support. “While healthcare is primarily provincial and federal we understand we have a responsibility to our residents to help improve the situation and we think this facility will help retain and recruit medical professionals in our area,”.

The health centre is not fully funded yet, with CAO Chris Frotten indicating they will likely be borrowing money some of the remaining funds needed. The design phase on the health centre is expected to be completed this year, with hopes that construction will start before the end of the year.

While expenses are up across the board some of the most notable increases included police and education, which municipalities have no say in. Both sectors are up $200,000 year over year.