May 12, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg approved the 2020/21 operating and capital budgets at its Special Council meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
The Municipality approved its annual operating budget of $31,176,000 with no projected surplus. The capital budget is $14,208,700 including $3,250.600 investment in non-owned infrastructure, such as roads, Internet and trails.
“Through the budget process, Council must balance provincial and federal legislation, long-term initiatives, immediate needs and opportunities, and feedback from public engagement sessions,” said Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson.
“We are spending prudently in the areas that are a clear priority to our residents. We have heard loud and clear that access to high speed Internet, improving our roads, cleaning up the lower LaHave River and battling Lyme Disease are important to residents, and to the economy, and we have invested wisely in these areas. On each of these issues, we have developed strong partnerships with other municipalities and other levels of government.”
“We’re also acutely aware of the financial challenges facing some residents due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. We have delayed the property tax deadline, and interest on the newly issued interim invoice will not be applied until September 1, 2020. We’ve made a cash donation to our local food banks, and increased our Community Investment Fund by 50%, from $100,000 to $150,000.”
The approved budget continues the Municipality’s track record of strong financial management, while continuing to meet the needs of residents. Council continues to be on track to be debt free by 2021 while maintaining stable tax rates and contributions to reserves.
The 2020/21 budget focuses on four key themes:
- Making Life Affordable–by maintaining tax rates, reducing sewer rates, and delaying the interim tax deadline by 90 days due to COVID-19.
- Building the Local Economy–through partnerships with the business community and initiatives such as high-speed Internet, significant investment in rural roads, and investment attraction and agriculture.
- Protecting the Environment–through the LaHave River Straight Pipe Program and investments in wastewater treatment, floodplain mapping, and incentives for community litter clean-up.
- Investing in our Community–by supporting a tick awareness campaign and bait station research program, continuing to invest in the Fire Services Recruitment and Retention campaign, and by providing various recreational opportunities across the Municipality through programming, parks and facilities.
The Municipality ended the 2019/20 fiscal year with a forecasted surplus of $1.6M, which is the fifteenth consecutive year with an operating surplus.
Elana Wentzell, CPA CMA
Director of Finance and Municipal Treasurer
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg