Budget talks initiated in Antigonish County

ANTIGONISH: The warden for the Municipality of the County of Antigonish says while preparations on tabling a budget continues to stay at the staff level, the outlook on their fiscal year remains positive.

Warden Owen McCarron suggested, after initial deliberations, the municipality is still anticipating coming in on budget or being slightly in the green when their fiscal year closes at the end of the month.

Following their regular monthly council meeting on March 9, McCarron advised the municipality’s bottom line looks encouraging.

“We feel as if we’re going to come in on budget, or maybe have a bit of a slight surplus,” he said. “We have had a bit of an easier winter, which has been a good thing.”

While staff members have only started preparations on their 2021-22 budget, McCarron indicated council wants to table their budget by mid-May but highlights it’s still too early to say what will happen to their tax rates.

The warden did, however, explain staff will look at the entire operation and see if they can continue maintaining the tax rates.

“There’s been a slight increase in assessments,” he said. “So we just need to look at the pieces in our operation and determine if we can continue maintaining the tax rate that we have.”

McCarron said it’s been 12 years since the Municipality of the County of Antigonish has seen an increase in their tax rates.