Municipalities to shoulder education, housing, corrections costs

Raissa Tetanish
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AMHERST - Additional costs for housing and corrections as of 2012-13 are going to mean about another $130,000 a year for the Town of Amherst and $200,000 for the county.

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations announced Tuesday that the province wouldn't be taking on additional costs for public housing, education and corrections in a year's time.

That means municipal units will be shouldering those costs.

"Our current budget estimates that we are working with...we had the numbers that are presented," Amherst's chief administrative officer Greg Herrett said.

"It's next year where the impact is going to be."

A memorandum of understanding has been in place since 2007 between the province and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM). Now, the province is amending that memorandum.

"The most accurate way of saying it is that some of the savings we were anticipating beyond this year, aren't going to materialize so we're going to go back to some previous levels. That's going to cost us about $130,000 a year from now, not this year that we're setting the tax rate for," said Herrett.

For the Municipality of Cumberland County, that cost is higher than the town's.

"We're certainly not going to gain on housing and corrections because over a four-year period, that's going to cost us $825,814. That's over $200,000 a year," Hunter said.

Although education is being affected, both Herrett and Hunter said it's unclear what that change will mean to their respective municipalities at the moment.

"We've got some work to do in order to fully understand the total impact," said Herrett. "It doesn't look like it's going to have a major impact initially, but some of the protection that was there for us as a municipality in terms of rising cost looks like it's going to disappear."

Organizations: Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities

Geographic location: AMHERST, Nova Scotia, Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • Jack On The Rocks
    March 23, 2011 - 11:18

    Corrections???????I thought Amherst was losing the jail?????????

  • Obeau
    March 22, 2011 - 17:02

    Well it plain to see it all runs down hill. The Harper Government has its tough on crime agenda. No one knows what it will cost. The Harper Government is downloading to cost to the Provincies who in turn are downloading it on the municipalies which means we the taxpayers will be picking up the cost .