community news

For the eighth straight year, the Town of Westville’s residential and commercial tax rates are unchanged.

During the May 31 meeting, council approved its 2021-22 fiscal year’s budget, which sees its residential and resource tax rate remain at $2.08 per $100 of assessment. The commercial rate continues at $3.69 per $100 of assessment.

Mayor Lennie White said the residential tax rate when he joined council nine years ago was approved at $2.09, and decreased by one cent the following year. It’s stayed that way since.

“It’s one of those things where we know, being tax payers all of us ourselves, that no one wants taxes increased, but we demand or expect a certain level of service in the town,” said White during the meeting that was livestreamed on the town’s Facebook page.

The mayor added it’s sometimes difficult to provide services residents expect and look for without increasing tax rates, and there are many things, especially infrastructure, that council would love to see improved upon.

The commercial rate, said the mayor, is the lowest commercial rate amongst the towns of Pictou County.

The general operating fund for the town for 2021-22 was passed as a balanced budget of $4,489,853. Along with tax rates staying as is, the town’s wastewater rates were also passed unchanged at $1.17 per cubic meter.

The water operating fund’s revenue in the budget is estimated to be $1,046,343, while its total expenses come in at an estimated $1,063,672, leaving a deficit of $17,329.

Westville will see $707,095 being spent on capital projects, with the majority going to street repaving. Sidewalk renewal on South Main Street will come in at a cost of $171,420.

Water meters are expected to be replaced to the tune of $20,000.

The capital projects are being funded by gas tax funding and the water depreciation fund.

It’s estimated the town will see $200,000 going into its reserves from the 2020-21 fiscal year thanks to lower costs regarding snow removal, heating costs and recreation (due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Reporter

Raissa Tetanish has been a journalist for the past 15 years, and has spent four years as editor of both The Light and Hub Now. She joined the Pictou Advocate in April 2021.