The Municipality of Lunenburg (MODL) council approved its 2017-2018 operating and capital budgets on May 9, with the operating budget showing a surplus for the 12th consecutive year.
The residential, commercial and commercial-seasonal tax rates on $100 assessed remained unchanged from last year's budget, while the 2.5 cent special tax covering the construction of the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre was eliminated and sewer rates were reduced by 2 cents. There also were some reductions on street light rates.
The $118,000 surplus on the operating budget was on revenue of $29,460,800. The capital budget stood at $3,454,500 with no borrowing, and the municipality is still predicting it will be debt free by 2022.
Since MODL's councillors all sit on the audit and finance committee, which has been reviewing the draft budget in open meetings for the past few months, most details of the budget were known in advance.
Prior to council members voting on the documents, MODL finance director Elana Wentzell confirmed the underlying themes to the budgets were making life affordable, building the local economy, protecting the environment and investing in recreation and community.
"These themes reflect the priorities and interests of the community as understood by you, elected representatives of council," said Wentzell.
Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson emphasized the point after council voted unanimously in favour of both budgets and prior to adjourning the meeting.
"It reflects what you heard on the doorsteps and, hopefully, it will reflect creating an environment where families will choose to live," she said.