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Municipality of Cumberland Council approves capital budget

Council of the Municipality of Cumberland has approved the first capital budget of their four-year term. The $6.7 million budget for 2021/22 is funded with a combination of general revenues and reserves, area rates, and provincial and federal funding such as the Canada Community Building Fund (CCBF) formerly known as the Gas Tax Fund.

“Our capital budget focuses on investing in critical infrastructure while being fiscally responsible,” said Mayor Murray Scott. “We see projects focused on maintaining our infrastructure so that residents can continue to depend on the services their municipality provides.”

The category of streets and sidewalks is the largest category, with $1.7 million to be spent in the upcoming year. CCBF will fund the replacement of barrier posts on the aboiteau sidewalk. Street paving is planned for the community of Parrsboro, also covered by CCBF.

The second largest category expense in the capital budget is the water and sewer infrastructure category, with $1.4 million devoted to 11 projects. The Wallace wastewater treatment plant will receive upgrades funded by CCBF and the rural sewer reserve.

The community of Parrsboro will see $400,000 for waterline replacement and a further $85,000 to determine the number of lead service laterals in the water utility. CCBF will cover over half the waterline replacement while water utility rates are expected to cover the remaining. Solar panels will be installed on the wastewater treatment plant, financed though CCBF.

Upgrades to the water treatment plant in Springhill are planned with one of the upgrades being an installation of 75 kW of solar panels. Upgrades to the water treatment plant in Springhill will be funded by water utility rates. Solar panels will also be installed on the wastewater treatment plant in Springhill. Solar panel installation in Springhill will be funded by long term debt.

The Cumberland-Colchester Rural Broadband project is in the second year of a five-year commitment to bring high speed internet capability to rural areas of the municipality. CCBF will fund the entirety of this year’s budgeted $867,555.

Construction of the Shinimicas Fire Hall, which was destroyed by fire in April 2020, is budgeted at $800,000. Funding is primarily insurance money, with a further $300,000 planned to be added to the municipality’s long-term debt to complete the build.

Community Development features in the capital budget with a strong commitment to the Parrsboro Playground project and support for remaining work at Sharpe Splash & Play Park and work on the Paul “Gino” Sharpe Memorial Field in Springhill. CCBF and provincial grants heavily support the $184,000 towards these valuable community projects. There is $160,000 attributed to general reserves earmarked for the design work of a Multipurpose Centre in Pugwash.

Residents in the community of Springhill are charged area rates as part of their annual tax bill. The community of Springhill is scheduled for paving, totaling $1.2 million which will be split between the Springhill area rate and CCBF.

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A full copy of the 2021/22 capital budget can be found here.