GUYSBOROUGH – The Town of Mulgrave passed its 2022-2023 budget at the regular council meeting held on June 6.
As reported in this paper last month, when Mulgrave CAO David Gray tabled the draft budget, taxes remained unchanged for residents. The residential tax rate is set at $1.24 per $100 of assessment, while the commercial tax rate is set at $4.52 per $100 of assessment. The water levy for Mulgrave residents is also unchanged at $0.2015 per $100 of assessed value in the areas serviced by fire hydrants and a sewer rate of $0.4510 per $100 of assessment. Each household will pay $128.25 per annum for solid waste collection.
Mulgrave Mayor Ron Chisholm said holding the line on taxes was crucial. “We’re a small town with a growing number of seniors…seniors are our backbone, they built this community…our taxes are very high as it is. You keep increasing taxes you’re going to take food out of their mouths.”
Council was pleased to receive Guysborough-Tracadie MLA Greg Morrow at the June 6 meeting. Morrow, whose riding includes Mulgrave, has been visiting municipal councils to answer questions and listen to concerns.
The first item brought forward was a request for an update on construction plans and progress at the intersection of Highway 344 and Highway 104 in Aulds Cove by Councillor Krista Luddington. The intersection, which is the main point of entry and egress from the Town of Mulgrave, has been the site of many near-miss accidents, an issue that should be rectified by the construction plan to relocate the turn into Highway 344 from Highway 104.
Morrow said, “That was added to the five-year highway plan for this construction season. From what I understand from the Department of Public Works, is that the issue lies with the rail company right now; that’s sort of the reason that we’re tied up, I think.
“My ask to the minister and department staff, was let’s get some work going so that at least people will see that something is being done in that area because we all know how badly it’s needed. We’ve asked for that so that we can get a good chunk of the work done so that by the time they are ready to go in September or October, whatever the case may be, they can finish it off then as opposed to starting then,” he added.
Councillor Tanya Snow-Keeling asked Morrow about advancement on the reinstatement of a nurse practitioner at the Mulgrave Medical Centre and paving on the section of Highway 344 as it enters the Town of Mulgrave.
Morrow said paving on that section of Highway 344 wasn’t in the five-year plan, “But, I’m happy to advocate for any work that needs to be done.”
In regard to the nurse practitioner file, Morrow said he had brought the issue to the health minister, “and had a conversation with the CEO of Nova Scotia Health Karen Oldfield and she didn’t give me a timeline but she said, ‘We’re not looking to take away, we’re looking to add,’ which is encouraging. It’s just a matter of when…We’ll keep pushing…I do feel encouraged by the conversations I’ve had.”
Snow-Keeling asked about the hold up.
Morrow said, “It’s the healthcare system in the province, there’s a lot of work to do. If I could put a nurse practitioner there tomorrow I would, but there’s so much work to do…It’s not just Mulgrave. I understand the need for Mulgrave; that was made very clear to me…It’s a massive problem we have facing us, massive challenges; that’s the hold up.”
In other business, council discussed amending its dog bylaw to state that any dog deemed fierce and dangerous must be kept under the control of the owner and muzzled when outside the home. The bylaw amendment will move forward to a first and second reading.
The next council meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 20.
Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal