Antigonish County’s budget may be delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions

ANTIGONISH: The Municipality of the County of Antigonish’s warden says senior staff plan to introduce their budget at the end of the month, however recently imposed COVID-19 restrictions may delay that slightly.

Owen McCarron indicated the original plan was to have their 2021-22 budget approved by the end of May.

Following Antigonish County’s regular monthly council meeting on May 11, the warden advised that the most recent COVID-19 lockdown may have shifted the timeline slightly.

“With a little bit of a disruption, it may push us back a week or so, but we won’t really know that until next week,” he said. “We’re still hoping for the last week in May to set the budget and strike the tax rate, but by this time next week, we’ll have a little tighter perspective on that.”

All the information has been pulled together, apart from the community organization grants, which they’re still working out the details on, the warden noted.

Speaking on contributions from the provincial and federal governments, McCarron explained the county received a little over $600,000 in COVID relief from safe restart funding.

“We’re just working out the details with the province on what areas that can be spent on,” he said. “Last week we received a flow chart from the province on what some of the eligible expenses are (and) we’ll be working that into the equation as well.”

The warden said it’s still too early to determine what will happen with residential and commercial tax rates.

“We’re certainly striving to maintain the rate, we’re just waiting to get all the numbers pulled together,” McCarron said. “It’s certainly our hope to maintain the rate again this year.”