So, what’s the benefit?

Christopher Gooding
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Discussion will include ‘Springhill rate’

SPRINGHILL – At first blush, dissolution looks good for Springhill because it creates an opportunity to get rid of its debt, while some county residents feel they are getting stuck Springhill’s problem.

It’s not that simple, says John Leefe, who was appointed by the province to be the transition coordinator for dissolving Springhill into the Municipality of Cumberland County.

When Springhill joins the county, expect Springhill to have it’s own rate, Leefe said, just like Queens County created its own rate for Liverpool. Tax dollars from Springhill will pay off what Springhill owes.

“It would be unfair for people who did not incur the debt to pay off some or all of that debt,” Leefe said earlier this week.

The benefit for Springhill is in the future less tax dollars will be spent on administration costs. Instead of two administrations, there will be only one after April 3, 2015, potentially making way for cost savings to go towards services.

What those services will be in the future, however, is up for discussion.

And just how many councilors the Municipality of Cumberland County will have come the next election, in 2016, is also still to be determined, Leefe says. Boundaries will be redrawn, discussion of population and representation are all on the table. In the case of Queens and Liverpool, and excluding the village commissions, 17 elected officials were being voted in every municipal election. That dropped down to seven district councilors and an elected mayor after Liverpool joined the county.

As for the Municipality for Cumberland County the addition of Springhill, its population and tax revenues makes it a larger player that can “punch above its weight” when talking and negotiating with the province, Leefe says.

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Liverpool, Queens

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Recent comments

  • noodle
    March 18, 2014 - 18:39

    To easy out: My point was that we are all part of the same region and benefit from being so. Obviously, businesses aren't going to only hire from within their own municipalities, but before some county residents complain bitterly about Springhill becoming part of the county they should consider how their own residential tax base has benefitted from the proceeds of income generated by Springhill businesses.

  • Doug P.
    March 18, 2014 - 13:28

    Springhill should default on it's debt. Dumping it on the county residents IS making other people pay for the foolishness and nonsense of Springhill town government past and present. better yet, bill all those who held council and mayorships in the last 20 years with the debt - at least that would be justice served. The regions with the the highest tax rates, both residential and commercially, are smothering their own economies for the sake of politicians and bureaucrats salaries.

  • noodle
    March 18, 2014 - 11:54

    It also isn't fair for people to take a paycheque out of a Springhill-based business, then use that money to build a house in the county and pay taxes to the Municipality of Cumberland but it happens all the time. No doubt the vast majority of tax dollars paid to the county are paid with money earned elsewhere. Perhaps if Springhill employers were more prudent about hiring local taxpayers over those who don't contribute to the town's tax base the town might not be in such dire straights. Wonder how the county would be doing if its taxpayers didn't have jobs in other municipalities.

    • easy out
      March 18, 2014 - 12:45

      Noodle from what I gather you are saying all Springhill businesses should hire only Springhill residents so the money stays in town? Most businesses in town are privately owned. Lets say I'm a business owner and I interviewed 20 people and it turns out that the best person for my business lives outside town limits....should I hire that person? Of course I should....It's business. Why should I settle for anything less than perfect for what my business may take to be successful. May turn out to be a resident or it may not. Let's say we remove all the people from the Town that work outside of Springhill then recount the population......there is more contribution then you think and other Towns & Community's are already paying for Springhill's taxes. There are numerous ways to look at it.

    • Shelley
      March 19, 2014 - 05:55

      If people have an issue with people working in Springhill but not living there than go ask the NSCC principal why he hired a bunch of people who live in sackville NB where he is from? Noodle does have a valid argument. Provincial funded money paying these people salaries are not only leaving Springhill but the province altogether.

    • Barb
      March 19, 2014 - 10:10

      Works both ways. People who live in Springhill work in Amherst and other places. Should they be told to not work there and only work in Springhill? Of course not.