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Cumberland County Municipal Council approved its 2022/23 operating budget of almost $34 million at a special council meeting held in Upper Nappan on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 22.

The budget features a reduction in both the residential and commercial general tax rates of 2 cents, falling to $1.17 and $2.76 respectively. Area rates in Parrsboro are staying the same at 48 cents per hundred residential and $1.19 for commercial. In Springhill, with the deficits and outstanding debt of the former town now extinguished, the area rates are falling by 38 cents to 48 cents per hundred for residential and by 99 cents to $1.19 per hundred for commercial.

Total expenditures totalled $33,913,000. While total taxable assessment grew by 7.9% to a total of $1.5 billion and generating an additional $1.1 million in tax revenue, the Municipality is also facing significant increased costs in number of services areas:

Solid waste, up $370,000 due to the additional cost related to a one year extension of the curbside collection contract;

Policing costs, up $395,000 or 11% due to an increase in the fees charged by the RCMP;
Mandatory costs for housing and education have increased by $150,000 are simply flow through costs that the municipality collects and sends along to the provincial government for those services;
It is estimated that gasoline, diesel and heating oil will rise by 82% accounting for a further $138,000;
Insurance costs are projected to rise by $125,000;

Although the cost of living rose by an average of 4.1%, the cost of salary and benefit are rising by only 1.5% due to a number of staffing changes that have happened over the past year.

The approved capital budget totaled approximately $8.7 million for a number of infrastructure projects and equipment purchases. The largest project approved was a $2.3 million library for Pugwash. Council also approved grants to organizations totaling just over $700,000.

Detailed operating and capital budgets will be available on the municipal website within the next couple of days.

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