The arena will get a new ice slab, Lakeshore Park will get a makeover, and residents will only see a small tax increase.
Madawaska Valley Township has passed their budget, with just a 2.2 per cent increase in taxes. Treasurer Amanda Hudder says thanks to staff drawing down on capital reserves, cutting minor things and finding efficiencies, ratepayers in Madawaska Valley will have a rate hike that comes under the rate of inflation. Because of inflation, some projects won’t be going forward, but Hudder says a lot of projects are getting the green light.
Among the major expenditures is a $1.8 million replacement of the ice slab at the Paul J Yakabuski Centre. Hudder says there has been a lot of discussion and work around funding the replacement, including unsuccessful attempts to get both the provincial and federal governments to help foot the bill. Thanks to drawing from some reserves, taxpayers will not be burdened by the interest payments they’d have to make if the Township borrowed the money from a bank. In addition to the ice slab, the centre will get new rink boards, as well as a new scoreboard.
Money has also been set aside to redevelop Lakeshore Park in Barry’s Bay. Hudder says that while the Township has been investing money into the location over the last two years, there needs to be more planning to address design flaws. The Municipality will invest money into upgrading the park, which will include drainage and walking paths. Money is also set aside for public consultations so that residents can express what they want from the park. Hudder hopes to be able to take those suggestions and factor them into next year’s budget.
Along with these major developments, repairs and upgrades are planned for things like the Train Station, Madawaska Valley Public Library and the Combermere Community Centre. She ways these upgrades will make sure that these buildings are safe and accessible for everyone. A number of municipal roads will also be repaired, although Hudder says the investment in roads in the Township isn’t above and beyond what they normally allocate.