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$2.7-million capital budget eyed by Town of Yarmouth for 2018-19 fiscal year

['Yarmouth town hall. TINA COMEAU PHOTO']
Yarmouth town hall. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

YARMOUTH, N.S. – The Town of Yarmouth is looking to spend roughly $2.76 million on capital projects in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Town council debated its draft capital list at a Feb. 1 committee of the whole meeting, approving a motion to have council approve the list, which is very pro-infrastructure.

“It’s not glamourous work, but it’s important,” said Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood.

A Parade Street-Glebe Street sewer replacement and separation project is in the budget with 10 per cent of the town’s $1.04-million share of the project budgeted for this year. The need to ensure there is detailed communication with potentially affected businesses ahead of the project taking place was discussed.

The capital budget calls for setting aside $350,000 for street paving in the 2018-19 fiscal year with the demolition of a Glebe Street garage used by public works budgeted at $500,000.

The town is setting aside $150,000 to put towards increasing downtown parking opportunities. Initially the figure has been $300,000 but the town needed to cut $555,750 in capital expenditures from the overall list to meet its available funding so some projects were bumped or scaled down.

Another expense is $175,000 for transit buses. The town is purchasing a second accessible transit bus due to ongoing mechanical and repair work for its existing bus. When that bus is not in service, the town can’t provide accessible transportation for people with disabilities and mobility issues.

Also needing replacement is the town’s street cleaner at a cost of $325,000. This is a purchase that has been bumped from previous capital budgets.

Other areas of capital spending for the 2018-19 fiscal year include a Starrs Road multi-purpose trail, second-floor fire separation and washroom renovations for the fire hall, new sidewalks and replacement of town equipment.

The Starrs Road/Pleasant Street intersection is on tap for $75,000 in capital expenditure. This includes money for design work to look at having vehicle-actuated traffic lights there. The town would budget $425,000 towards this intersection the following year.

Other projects that have been talked about more publicly because they’ve been in the news more won’t see capital spending this fiscal year. Still, the town is looking ahead to when spending may occur. It is estimating/guesstimating what its share of some projects would be when (or if) these projects move forward. None of these project costs are official.

The town says its share of an arts and culture centre, for instance, (on a $20-million building) could run at around $3.3 million. It has included 10 per cent of this share, $330,000, in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Fishing wharves require work, with the town expecting its share to fall in around $594,000. Half of that would be included in next year’s capital budget for consideration. Replacement of a ferry terminal is another expenditure the town is looking ahead to, suggesting its share may fall in the $600,000 range.

The town is looking at budgeting $132,000 in the 2019-2020 fiscal year for the curling club. Another $480,000 might be spent on Main Street bump-outs in future years, with half of that being considered for 2019-2020.

While no capital spending is budgeted towards a Mariners Centre expansion over the current and following fiscal year, the town has suggested $544,500 could be its share. The same holds true for an aquatics centre, with the town looking at potentially having to spend $1.98 million at some point down the road, but not budgeting anything in this or the following fiscal year.

Other expenditures that will come up for discussion and consideration during the 2019-2020 fiscal year include another $350,000 for street paving, more sewer work on Parade Street and Brunswick Street, other equipment replacement, and a park on the waterfront.

Still, not everything will make the cut a year from now, given that the available funding is tagged at $3.985 million and the draft list so far already exceeds that amount by $3.21 million. And, as is the case with any list, priorities and needs can always change.

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