In a Public Council Meeting held on Monday, November 30, 2020, at 5:00 PM, Councillor Michelle Baikie, Chair of the Finance, Administration & Policy Committee, presented the 2021 Budget. The 12th Council of Happy Valley-Goose Bay unanimously passed the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay 2021 Municipal Budget.
“Fiscally speaking, 2020 has proved to be a challenging year for the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. However, the 12th Council has met these challenges head-on, and we are pleased to present a balanced budget for 2021. I would like to acknowledge my colleagues of the 12th Council, Town Management, and all employees for their hard work and dedication in continuing to make Happy Valley-Goose Bay a great place to live.”
“Budget 2021, while fiscally-conservative is at the same time very much a strategic budget, one that will allow us to meet our strategic objectives while, at the same time, continuing to invest in people and quality services to benefit our residents.”
– Councillor, Michelle Baikie, Chair of Finance, Administration & Policy Committee
Highlights of Budget 2021:
- Budget 2021 is balanced at $14,688,624.40
- No mil rate increases.
- Business Tax mil rates, Minimum Vacant Commercial Property Tax, and Water & Sewer rates remain constant.
- Property Tax Low Income Relief Policy remains in effect with an increase to the thresholds of 2%
- Recreational Property Tax Rebate Policy remains in effect
- No changes to Recreational Fees, Equipment Rates, or Tipping Fees
- Minor changes to Permit Fees and Animal Control Fees
- Continuation of fleet replacement program
The Town Transportation Study will look at residents’ accessibility needs, with an intense focus on much needed public transport.
Water & Sewer:
Continued investment in water and sewer projects such as Pumphouse upgrades, water line upgrades, and sewage lift station upgrades. Town contribution $832,000.00
Investments in new hires include a Fire Protection Officer, three Permanent-Seasonal Heavy Equipment Operators, and four Temporary – Seasonal positions under the Public Works Department (Roads & Grounds and Water & Sewer).
Central Labrador YMCA (Labrador Wellness Centre):
Construction, which began in Spring 2019, is nearly complete. The new $30 Million
Central Labrador YMCA is on track for a Spring 2021 opening.
The Town is currently working on a new agreement with Healthy Waters Labrador and has allocated funds for the Birch Island Conservation Area.
Impacts of COVID-19:
Like all municipalities in the province, COVID-19 has had a financial impact on the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The Town’s response and mitigation (enhanced cleaning protocols) of town facilities indoors and outdoors have created its challenges.
- Twenty-three businesses approved for relief under the Town’s COVID-19 Business Tax Relief program, with a total cost of over $18,000.00.
- Increased costs related to PPE and cleaning supplies.
- The Federal Safe Restart Allocation Program funding of $476,519.18 was used and instrumental in balancing the 2021 budget.
- 2020 saw a revenue loss in the Municipal Landfill Tipping Fees and Recreational Facilities income. Revenues were also negatively affected by an extended discount period and waiver of interest. These losses in revenue streams had a significant impact. The Town expects a similar trend for 2021 and has prepared for that.
*In the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, municipal budgets are subject to approval by the Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Municipalities. Therefore, the Town will release no further details until it has received written confirmation from the Department that Budget 2021 is accepted. The Town expects to receive this confirmation in January 2021 and will prepare a media release at that time.