Richmond Co. council approves 2022/2023 budget
Richmond County council approved their 2022/2023 budget at a special council meeting on June 1st.
The budget includes a four-cent tax increase and strategic investments in communities, infrastructure and growth.
Highlights of the budget include an increase in mandatory contributions for services such as policing, education, and housing of over $210,000.
On a budget that generates approximately $94,000 in revenue for every one cent of tax charged, this created significant pressure for council to deal with pressing infrastructure and community concerns.
Council has made investments with regards to personnel, adding critical resources to Public Works and returning to a full-time emergency management and fire services officer.
Warden Amanda Mombourquette says through these investments, Richmond County Council is committing to place a renewed focus on planning and preparation for emergency management and climate change.
Richmond County’s 2022/23 budget will be good news for many community groups who contribute hundreds of volunteer hours each year to their communities.
The budget includes significant investment in healthcare on items such as physician recruitment, seniors safety and social inclusion, search and rescue, Children's Make a Wish, the Cape Breton Regional Cancer Centre, and hospital foundations.
It also includes support for festivals and events, including a contribution to the Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Summer Games which will attract approximately 2500 athletes from all the First Nation communities in Nova Scotia as well as across the Atlantic provinces.
Mombourquette says in this climate of rising costs, they have made some difficult decisions regarding the long-term sustainability of municipal services.
"Although Richmond County continues to have one of the lowest tax rates in the province, we recognize this will be difficult for some people to bear."
"Our aging infrastructure demands attention in order to ensure continued service that is environmentally sound.
Health and wellness must continue to be a focus to ensure that our residents have access to affordable programs and services.
Last but not least, from a community perspective, we felt it was a priority to continue to make funds available for grant applications throughout the year, so we can fund projects as they arise and enable groups to leverage funding from other sources.
We’ve used a transfer from our operating reserves to soften the blow of some of these pressures, but unfortunately even with this strategy the tax rate increase was necessary.”
Overall, Richmond County passed a balanced budget of $ 15.3 million at the June 1st special council meeting, representing an increase in revenues and expenditures over last year’s budget of over $1.1 million.
For detailed budget information, click here.