The Amherst town council’s committee of the whole is recommending that council approve the Mandatory Contribution Area Rate for the 2022-23 fiscal year when it meets on March 28, 2022.
The committee made the decision at its March 21, 2022, meeting after receiving a staff report that indicated the rate should be set at 40.2 cents per $100 of assessment, the same as the previous year.
The rate provides funding for provincial services the town is mandated to pay by the province. Those services include: education ($1,643,211), correctional services ($110,753), housing ($291,411), library services ($87,299) and Property Valuation Services Corp. assessment services ($112,038).
While the town collects the funds, the money is sent directly to the province as soon as it is received.
The committee is also recommending the town approve an amendment to the town’s Alarm Bylaw when it meets on March 28.
The amendment, if approved by council, would eliminate a section of the bylaw, originally drafted in 1999 when such alarms were not as prevalent in homes and businesses as they are today, that require property owners to register their alarms with the police department.
The Amherst Board of Police Commissioners is also recommending the amendment be approved.
The committee is recommending the Amherst town council approve sending funding applications for two major capital works projects to the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
If council approves the applications at its March 28 meeting, the town will seek federal funding to help cover the cost of the projects that together are estimated to be about $3 million. The federal program covers 73.33 per cent of projects that fit the program’s criteria.
The federal funding would be used to help cover the cost of replacing the 115-year-old sanitary sewer and water main on West Victoria Street as well as replacing the corrugated storm sewer, pulverize and rebuild the street and install new curbs and sidewalks.
The funding would also be used to replaced the 100-year-old sanitary trunk sewer on Russell Street as well as the corrugated-steel storm sewer and pulverize and rebuild the street.
If approved, the work on both streets is planned to take place in the spring-summer of 2023.
Appointment of development officer
The committee is recommending council, at its March 28, 2022, council meeting, appoint Marc Buske, the town’s building inspector, as a development officer for the Town of Amherst.
Staff noted the appointment of a development officer is required by the Municipal Government Act and most municipalities designate their building inspectors as development officers because doing so improves customer service efficiency for those seeking most development permits.