2023 BUDGET SUMMARY
2022 will likely be remembered as the year Covid-19 finally loosened its grip and we were able to return to somewhat normal daily lives. However, it is likely that the financial impacts of the pandemic will be felt for quite some time. In spite of this, 2022 was once again a year of growth for the Town of Massey Drive. New residential construction continues to be a strong indicator that Massey Drive is a very desirable community for people to live and raise their families.
There were many positive initiatives that took place in our town in 2022. We were successful in having a Municipal Capital Works application approved by the province for resurfacing of the main road from Prince Charles Road to Link Pond Drive on a 50/50 cost shared ratio with the province, at a total project cost of $366,000. Lobbying by council was successful in having the Massey Drive Access Road resurfaced by the Provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. Council continued its commitment to providing quality emergency services by replacing outdated equipment with the addition of 6 new SCBA devices, as well as ice rescue equipment, so the Massey Drive Volunteer Fire Department are able to adequately protect the lives and property of residents. A new plow truck complete with salt and sand spreading equipment was purchased at a cost of $298,000 to replace aging equipment. This is part of council’s ongoing commitment to ensure we maintain our high service delivery standards with modern dependable equipment and continue to provide the level of service that residents have come to expect. Debt was retired on all other existing equipment putting us in a strong financial position moving forward with a debt service ratio of 4%.
Our commitment to recreation, health and wellness, and cultural programs as core services continued in 2022 with the addition of new facilities and programs. The Strattons Pond Recreation area was completed and includes a Community Garden, children’s playground, pickle ball courts, and horseshoe pit. This area has also seen the addition of an 800 meter trail connecting the Strattons Pond Recreation area with the Tippings Pond Trail. A new snowmobile and groomer were added to make trails more accessible year round for a greater number of users. The Party On The Hill festival was once again an overwhelming success and a permanent stage area was constructed to support this and other similar events. A new Cultural and Heritage Committee has been formed to ensure preservation of the rich culture
and history of the town. Council has also undertaken a comprehensive review of all policies and procedures including a new Municipal Code of Conduct that we expect to have completed in early 2023.
As mentioned previously, new construction of residential properties has continued at a steady pace. As a result, coupled with increases in existing property values, total property values have increased by just over 7.75 million dollars which represents an increase in revenue of approximately $52,000.00 for 2023. Even with anticipated increases in operating costs, this increase will enable us to maintain residential tax rates at their current levels. The residential property tax rate will remain unchanged at 6.75 mils. Water and Sewer fees will increase from $585 to $605 as a result of a $20 per unit increase by the City of Corner Brook for the provision of water and sewer services.
Waste management still continues to be an area that is experiencing increases in cost. We will see an increase of $16,000 for curb side collection this year primarily due to increased fuel costs. It is important to note that since 2017 our waste management budget has increased from $79,000 per year to $157,000 primarily due to increased tipping fees at the Wild Cove transfer site.
Higher than normal fuel prices mean an increase of $22,000 to our 2023 budget allocation for fuel.
A new lift station overflow tank will be installed at Link Pond Lift Station #1 at a cost of approximately $105,000. This project will be funded through Municipal Capital Works on a 90/10 cost shared ratio with the province, with the town’s share being $10,500.
An application has been submitted to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure for Capital Works funding to construct a new salt and sand storage facility. The project is estimated to cost approximately $350,000 on a 60/40 cost shared basis between the town and the province. $140,000 has been allocated in the 2023 municipal budget for the town’s share of the cost.
2023 will see several other programs and projects that we are very excited about. $56,000 of Community Building Fund (Federal Gas Tax) money has been allocated to start work on a new dog park on the access road in the area adjacent to the bus turn around. $32,000 has been allocated for the purchase of two more SCBA’s for the Massey Drive Volunteer Fire Department to ensure their ability to adequately and safely protect our community. $4000 is budgeted for repairs to the 6×6 framing around the Mama Dawe Playground behind the town hall. $6000 has been allocated for a new, larger , more efficient grass mower to help keep our facilities maintained. $10,000 has been budgeted for speed humps to be placed near playgrounds and recreation facilities. $2500 is budgeted for a new flag pole to be erected near the Town Sign at the western entrance to town, and $1000 for disc golf equipment to be placed along the Strattons Pond Trail to further add to our existing recreation facilities.
In addition to new facilities council is committed to ongoing recreation and cultural programs. We will be partnering with the Massey Drive Recreation Committee to continue to bring you such programs as the Party On The Hill, Young at Heart, Volunteer Appreciation, Massey Drive Day celebrations, the Summer Recreation Program, etc and as such have allocated $25,000 toward these programs.
As we continue to move forward and look at adding new facilities and services as well as expanding and improving on existing, we will be seeking input from residents to ensure the best use of resources and utilization of facilities. We would like to encourage all residents to feel free to provide as much feedback as possible and help us to ensure that we are providing the most effective services possible.