Richmond looking at shrinking revenues

ARICHAT: Following an in-camera session, councillors approved a lease with the owners of the building housing the library in St. Peter’s.

During the regular monthly meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on October 28 in Arichat, district 4 councillor Gilbert Boucher moved that council accept a one-year lease agreement with Landmar Developments Ltd. “to secure space for the St. Peter’s library.”

The motion was seconded by Deputy Warden Alvin Martell and approved by council.

Warden Brian Marchand explained that the municipality rents space from Landmar Developments for the library and this was a renewal of the lease.

“We pay for the lease, we pay roughly $65,000 to Eastern counties regional library and then we pay the maintenance and the rent at a building in St. Peter’s and then a building in Petit de Grat, La Picasse, we own part of La Picasse, which the library is housed in,” Marchand explained.

The warden estimated the lease for the St. Peter’s facility is approximately $15,000 per year, plus snow removal.

“Roughly, between the two, the Petit de Grat and the St. Peter’s, we’re putting in roughly $35,000-$40,000 over and above our mandatory contributions that the Province of Nova Scotia throws down at us, which is roughly $61,000-$65,000 a year.”

Marchand added that with a budget shortfall in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of a drop in tax revenue, council needs to look at all expenses.

“Without our budget shortfalls, a lot of the decisions that have been made in the last year or two are because of that,” the warden noted. “We need to decide what needs to get cut. We’re going to be short again this year by $300,000 or $400,000 in lost tax revenue so we need to find some money moving forward.”