PICTOU – At Monday’s town council meeting the Town of Pictou received some negative news, literally.
The town is $80,000 in the hole at this point in their year.
Of that the major contributors are $21,000 from the tax sale in December, $16,000 in environmental costs ($8,000 over budget for garbage and $8,000 for legal fees for installation of sewer lines) and $28,000 from street maintenance (asphalt for pot hole filling, street sweeping, tree services).
Although the tax sale number is negative at this point they got rid of eight of 10 properties, which the town will now get tax from in the next fiscal year.
Snow removal numbers were also discussed on Monday, with the town $12,000 over budget as of Jan. 11. They have used up 70 per cent of their $35,000 set aside for overtime labour and standby hours, as well as 38 per cent of their $95,000 for extra equipment, rentals and salt.
CAO Scott Conrod discussed the water meter installation project, which has 67 per cent of the meters installed at this point. With the data the town has so far he is projecting they will be $27,503 over budget on the project unless they decide to not change out some of their older compound meters and stay with what they have. Compound meters cost approximately $4,000 apiece.
There was one positive piece of financial news at the meeting as the town received correspondence from Mark Furey, minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, that the town would be receiving an additional $250,000 towards their water utility upgrade project. This brings the total grants received for the project to $500,000, which is what the town had originally requested.