No changes to Mahone Bay tax rates in 2020-21

by Keith Corcoran

Commercial and residential tax rates in Mahone Bay are unchanged in 2020-21 after civic politicians saddled town property owners with hikes last year.

Residential taxpayers will fork out $1.25 per $100 of assessment, while commercial property owners shell out $3.16 per $100 of assessment.

"Council ... held tax rates without an increase this year, despite the increasing cost of providing services to residents," the town said in a statement provided to LighthouseNOW.

The town passed $5.5 million capital and $5.9 million operating budgets during a recent council meeting. Mahone Bay's total capital commitment balloons to nearly $13 million when other sources of project funding are included in the calculation, an increase over the previous year.

One large project this year is replacing the town's Kinburn Street fire station. The town is borrowing $2.2 million to finish the job, which will "accommodate newer, larger equipment and ensure the safety of our dedicated fire department volunteers," the town reported in its statement.

The town has $703,000 committed to a solar garden project, while another $200,000 (town portion: $100,000) is committed to a transportation plan.

Below-surface utility line replacements in the area of Cherry Lane, Long Hill Road and the water treatment plant off Zwicker Lane are expected to cost the town about $560,000. "Several major water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure projects and the Edgewater Street shoreline improvement project" are flagged among Mahone Bay's key investments in this fiscal year. But, the town said, it "will require the support of our provincial and federal governments to proceed."

Repairs to the public wharf and breakwater at the civic marina off Main Street, continued renovation of the Michael O'Connor Memorial Bandstand, and "upgrades to the town's wastewater treatment facility to eliminate residual chlorine in treated effluent" are among other items on the radar.

Council also instituted a number of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The budget and further details can be found at www.townofmahonebay.ca on the internet.

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