The Town of Amherst and CUPE Local 1233 have agreed to extend their contract by one year.
The contract extension to March 31, 2019, was formally ratified during a signing ceremony that took place at Amherst town hall on May 24.
A $17.5-million operating budget, a $2.98-million capital budget and a slight increase in tax rates were approved by Amherst town council during a special session held on May 23.
“I feel extremely optimistic about the next year for the Town of Amherst,” Mayor David Kogon said. “This budget allows the town to complete necessary infrastructure projects while minimizing tax increases. The town is fortunate to be able to continue to deliver the level of services provided while minimizing tax increases even while the expenses of the town continue to be impacted by inflation on items like wages, energy costs and more.”
The new residential tax rate is $1.635 per $100 of assessment, up from $1.63. The commercial rate is $4.435 per $100 of assessment, up from $4.43. The small increase comes a year after council held the residential tax rate and decreased the commercial tax rate by two cents.
Amherst firefighters battled a multi-vehicle fire on May 21 that destroyed three 16-metre-long trailers, a half-ton pickup, a smaller trailer and damaged three other transport trailers.
The fire, in the parking lot of Gordon Food Service at 38 Industrial Park Dr., was reported at 8:06 p.m. The initial call was of a single-vehicle fire, but within the same minute it was updated to report several vehicles on fire.
Dense dark smoke, which billowed high into the sky, could be seen at least a kilometre away from the scene.
Mayor David Kogon proclaimed May 20 to May 26 VON week in the Town of Amherst moments before a VON flag was raised on May 18 to mark the occasion.
The flag will fly at the corner of Church and Albion streets until May 26.
In proclaiming the week, Kogon noted the Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada is a national, charitable, non-profit, community-based health-care organization that addresses community health and social needs.