The Town of Labrador City approved a budget of just under $25 million on December 12. It was presented by Councillor Junior Humphries, chair of the finance and administration committee.
The budget has some good news for residents and businesses, who won’t have to face any new increases in taxes or fees in the coming year. A grant in lieu of taxes of just over $8 million from the Iron Ore Company of Canada means residents of the town pay a mil rate of just 4.5 per cent, the lowest in the province.
The Town has made an increase in the amount of income people can earn to be eligible for either 90 per or 50 per cent tax refunds. They have also committed to providing the same level of funding to service clubs, sports and leisure groups and charitable organizations as in previous years. In capital works, the town will begin work on the Drake wastewater plant improvements to bring it up the new federal standards to be met by 2020.
There will be several street reconstruction programs as well under a 50-50 shared agreement with the provincial government. As well, $42,000 is allocated for equipment replacement for the volunteer fire department.
The budget was approved unanimously. Full details will be posted on the town’s website. More details will be made available as the budget is finalized.
Some of the new initiatives and highlights for the coming year are:
Grant to business owners to make barrier free accessibility to their businesses
Speed bump pilot project
Windrow snow-clearing program for people with disabilities and seniors (windrows are those lines of snow left at the bottom of the driveway when the plow clears the streets)
Asset management strategy to save money on road maintenance and other infrastructure
Master plan for open spaces and walking trails
Mobile accessible washrooms
Skateboard Park add on
Arena indoor playground equipment