‘Business as usual’ budget passes in Mulgrave

By Helen Murphy    

MULGRAVE – It will be the status quo for residential and commercial tax rates in the Town of Mulgrave following council’s approval of its new budget last week.

For a number of years Mulgrave has used a model of combining the fire, tax and sewer rates to determine one municipal rate. That model remains this year, and the rate will be the same as in recent years at $1.80 per $100 of assessment for residential properties, and $4.93 for commercial properties.

Mulgrave remains in a difficult financial position, and had sought amalgamation with the District of Guysborough as a possible solution. When that failed in March, the town started looking at other solutions, including expanding shared services with neighbouring municipalities. That process continues.

“We were fortunate that Ocean Nutrition did their expansion a few years ago so that additional revenue eases short-term pressure. But long-term pressure is where the challenge will lie.”

Council also passed its capital budget of $692,000. The biggest ticket item in that package is a sewer main with a price tag of $47,000. But the town is receiving 75 per cent of that cost from provincial and federal funding. The next biggest item is replacing the town’s old dump truck at a cost of about $150,000.

Mulgrave is holding a special election this coming Saturday, June 3, to fill two vacant council positions. Three nominees are in the race.