No tax increase in early stages of Port Hawkesbury budget deliberations

PORT HAWKESBURY: Town officials are in the early stages of their budget deliberations, with town councillors holding their second budget meeting on April 3.

After the regular Port Hawkesbury Town Council meeting on April 2, Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said council didn’t want to rush anything about their new budget as the town’s fiscal year just ended on March 31.

“We definitely want to take the appropriate amount of time to talk about a bunch of different variables,” she said. “Which are, what are the staff requirements in terms of new things they may need in the various departments or infrastructure that either needs to be replaced or updating, and maybe some programs that staff would like to implement.”

Chisholm-Beaton said they need to take into consideration council’s wishes and what plans they want to make for the remainder of the term.

“We do a lot of discussion and negotiating and at the end of the day we want to see something that’s feasible and sustainable for our citizens and try to add as much value with the money that we do have to work with.”

Chisholm-Beaton believes the folks around the table want to do as much as they can as efficiently as possible.

Chisholm-Beaton couldn’t speak to tax rates as they’re still in the early stages of their deliberations.

“It’s [too] early to talk about tax rates, but I think that we’ve been very successful withholding the tax line,” she said. “I don’t think there is a desire around that table to put the taxes up, but again we have to have those conversations and see where we go.”