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Cumberland County council reduces sewer rates in Parrsboro

["Councillor's Corner with Don Fletcher"]
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Councillor's Corner with Don Fletcher

We began council June 19 at 5 p.m. in-camera with four items covered.

Public council began with the chambers full of Parrsboro residents. So, first item was Parrsboro waste water sewer system cost to residents.

The municipality had received numerous complaints from citizens on the sewer rate charged on the recent tax bill. Staff and council looked at the issue and made 11 recommendations that were approved including a new rate of $575 vice $957 and will seek additional funding from government to cover shortfall.

Remember, we have to have a balanced budget. This was explained at least three times but most were not listening.

One question that was repeated was about knowing what is going on. For the past six years I have written this article for the local paper and have mentioned that council is the first and third Wednesday of the month and are open to the public. Take the time to attend and become informed!

A short discussion on fire protection services followed where staff and council will look at options for the future. Over last 15 years $5.5 million has been invested in apparatus and vehicle purchase and $4.3 million to construct/renovate fire department facilities.

The total budget for fire service in 2005 was $970,000 and 2019 budget is $2.426 million ­ – an increase of 198 per cent.

In comparison, policing costs increased from $1.79 million to $4.482 million, or 150 per cent. However, no citizens want a a tax increase to pay for these services!

The recent police services review confirmed that Cumberland can reduce by three members and be consistent with H division and meet policing services resource model.

A motion was made and passed to proceed with reduction. This will result in a cost saving of approximately $400,000 annually.

A boundary review and mayor versus warden public meeting are happening now and council will make a decision after all information gathered on council size and boundaries reviewed.

The bylaw to repeal the taxi bylaw was approved by motion.

McGee Street culvert replacement tender was approved.

A memorandum of understanding regarding high speed internet was also approved by motion. An information item covered Canada Day celebrations in Springhill. Next council is July 3. See you there!

Question: Are you involved in your community? Call your councillor!

Don Fletcher represents District 10 on Cumberland municipal council.

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