Carrot River operating budget increased by 7 per cent

CARROT RIVER— Carrot River’s 2020 budget has passed with expenses coming to $2,114,500 – an increase on 2019’s budget by seven per cent.

How this will affect property taxes has not been decided by the town at this time.

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“We haven’t calculated how it’s going to be, how we are going to raise this money through taxes or raise this kind of money through utility – but it does look like there will be both a raise in taxes in 2020 and there will be an increase probably part way through the year for our monthly utility bills,” said Kevin Trew, Carrot River’s administrator.

He said the good news for taxpayers is that there are new houses being built within the town, which will be taxable.

“That’s funds we would not have received anything for in prior years.”

According to Statistics Canada, the inflation rate from December 2019 to December 2020 was about 2.2 per cent.

“One of the areas that is a significant increase are interest on loans,” Trew said. “We’ve had to borrow money to deal with our water main breaks, some of our paving, some of our water and sewer line replacement we have been doing.”

He said that some water and sewage lines in town are in “dire need of replacement.”

“Everything is aging. Our infrastructure is aging and we have some 60 year old water and sewer lines down underground that at any time that could fail on us,” He said. “We’re keeping our eye on that and keeping focused on that. We’re looking for grants, we’re looking for all sorts of methods of dealing with those issues that we have.”

The town’s final budget includes about $100,000 for reserves for future infrastructure projects.

The large capital projects occurring in 2020 include the water treatment plant, and replacing the sidewalks on Main Street. The paving on Main Street has been deferred until more underground work can be completed.

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