Town of Council will have to deal with significant financial challenges this year with Provincial Government cuts to revenue sharing and grant-in-lieu of taxes. While Council was expecting a drop in revenue sharing, we were not expecting to lose the grant-in-lieu of taxes. This fiscal year the Town will lose $4,407.00 from a drop in Provincial Revenue Sharing, and $26,868.00 in grant-in-lieu of taxes. The combined loss of Provincial Funding this year received by the town will be $31,275.00.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of the Enviroment (MOE) informed Council a decision regarding how waste is disposed of at the landfill. The current method of digging trenches is no longer allowed. Council had to make a choice between constructing future engineered trenches or a transfer station to handle waste disposal at the landfill. The most cost effective decision for the Town will be to construct a transfer station. Council hoped to extend the life of the present trench to allow a reasonable timeframe to raise the funds needed to make the change. A request was made to the MOE to allow the town to finish filling the current trench before making the move to a transfer station. The request was denied, and Council will have to transition to a transfer station next year. Based on conversations we have had with similar-sized communities as ours the costs to transition will be in the neighborhood of $130,000.00.
The cuts in Provincial Funding, transitioning required at the Landfill and the Clarendon Hotel Cleanup will make the 2017 budget a significant challenge. Council will be finalizing our Strategic Plan and 2017 budget in the near future. All options will be fully explored as to how we will deal with the significant financial challenges facing our community. We will update residents with more information as it becomes available.