Improving infrastructure, emergency response and human resources are high priority
© Danielle Higdon
The Labrador City town council met on Dec. 20 to discuss Budget 2012. The budget, which consists of 18.8 million dollars in total, focuses strongly on improving infrastructure, enhancing energy responses, improving the technological capabilities of the community and investing in human resources.
The town of Labrador City officially released Budget 2012 on December 20.
In total, the budget consists of 18, 794, 143 dollars.
5, 943, 818 dollars of that total, or 32 per cent, will go towards capital.
Some of the investments in this category are the extension of water and sewer infrastructure to the new hospital/college, an aerial truck for the fire department, engineering design work for evaluation of the expansion of the Town Hall and Fire Hall, replacement of the Harrie Lake Sewage Treatment Plant building, street reconstruction programs and upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure in the community.
Along with these capital investments, an equal 32 per cent of the budget was dedicated to human resources, totaling in at 5, 943, 236 dollars. This amount will cover various expenses related to employment, recruitment, management and development within the work force of the community.
Some of the planned investments in this area include a new council position of Development Officer in the Administration Department, the new position of a full time Fire Inspector in the Fire Department to enhance the Fire and Life Safety inspection program, and an increase in the hourly rate for summer student positions allowing the town of Labrador City to compete with the competitive employment of post-secondary students.
Also, given the state of the housing crisis in Labrador West, the town council has added a provision that will pay for a member of council to attend a Provincial Housing and Homelessness Coalition.
Council also decided that recreation facility user fees, as well as property tax rebate program, will remain the same as 2011.
Janice Barnes, mayor of Labrador City, said she is proud of the budget for the New Year.
“We have a budget that’s 18.8 million dollars,” she said. “That’s a significant amount, and a strong amount. We are maintaining the millwright for our residents and our businesses which is exciting news. I certainly consider that a noteworthy highlight. And also, we’re going to be putting an additional million dollars towards some capital projects, such as a new recreation complex and sidewalk plows.”
Overall, Ms. Barnes says she feels the budget provides the town of Labrador City with a great financial foundation.
“This budget represents an emphasis on capital,” she said. “And we’re pretty proud of it because we were able to do all this without negatively impacting the residents by way of increasing their millwright.”
Peter Reccord, Labrador City town council member, said he feels the budget is representative of the advances taking place in the local economy.
“We’re undergoing great change in our community and we have seen great changes in our history,” he said. “I’d just like to say we will get there, we will continue to move forward and strive towards delivering core municipal services.”