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.