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Council Approves 2021-22 Capital Budget

This year’s capital budget will see several important projects move forward in 2021-22

 

On the heels of a hugely successful year of construction, this year’s capital budget will see several important projects move forward in 2021-22

Friday, April 9th, 2021 - Yarmouth, N.S. – At last evening’s regular council meeting the capital budget for 2021-22 was a key item on the agenda. The $3.2 million budget features a total of 11 projects that have been identified for new or increased funding. A motion to approve the budget was passed unanimously by council.

Despite having to deal with Covid-19 and the many restrictions and delays that came with it, 2020 and the first part of 2021 saw the completion of many projects. From sewer separation work on Main and Glebe Streets to a major renovation at the fire hall to the construction of a bulk water station to upgrades at the ferry terminal, a great deal of construction was completed.

While the upcoming year will not quite match the total of $11.5 million spent on capital projects last year, many key projects are planned and some are underway now. Town of Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood sees the new plan as a continuation of the Town’s focus on completing projects that have real community impact.

“Speaking on behalf of council I’m comfortable saying that we are very pleased with this year’s capital plan,” said Mood. “We completed some enormous projects last year, some of which benefit the entire region and not just residents within town. This year we’re tackling another major sewer and water project on Parade Street. Replacing that very old infrastructure that is costly to maintain and repair will also reduce the load and electricity use at our treatment plant.”

“Building a budget like this is a challenge and council is thankful for the hard work of staff in getting it done,” added Mood. "They manage to ensure money is spent on important projects that enhance our town to the benefit of all while managing to be responsible stewards of the public purse.”

Here are some highlights of the 2021-22 capital budget:

Parade Street Sewer Separation – just like last year’s Glebe Street and Main Street sewer separation projects, this major infrastructure upgrade will see the entire 100+ year-old sewer and water infrastructure replaced on Parade Street from Main all the way to Pleasant Street. It’s another step forward in the Town’s plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as it reduces the load at the waste treatment plant. It also sees new pavement for that entire stretch of road. Total cost for the project is $2.5 million.

Haley Road Sidewalk/Multi-purpose Trail Phase 2 – Last fall, a new multi-purpose trail was built connecting Forest Street and Parade Street. $200,000 will be spent on phase 2 of the project, extending the trail from Parade Street to Starrs Road. Council also approved changing the intersection at Haley Road, Parade Street and Enterprise Street to a 4-way stop and adding a crosswalk across Parade Street for added safety and to accommodate the new trail. Phase 3 is planned for next year which will see the trail extended from Haley Road down Forest Street.

YMCA Reopening - After the YMCA announced its closure last year, the town purchased the building with the intent of finding a way to reopen it as it houses the only public pool in Yarmouth County. Reopening the facility as a “bridge” solution until a new aquatics centre can be built at Mariners Centre is now a top priority of all three municipal councils and Mariners Centre is now leading the way toward making it happen. To further the Town’s commitment, another $200,000 has been has been earmarked for the upcoming year for the reopening.

Street Paving – In addition to the paving of Parade Street as part of the sewer separation project, $300,00 is in the plan for additional street paving projects. Details on which streets will be completed will be announced in late spring/early summer.

Firefighting Equipment/Volunteer Recruitment – the Yarmouth Fire Department is in need of volunteer firefighters and a recruitment effort will soon be underway. With the hopeful arrival of new volunteers comes the need for new, modern equipment to gear up recruits. The department will be purchasing a number of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units and a new efficient filling station to supply air for the larger bottles firefighters now use on scene. The total amount budgeted for these items in 2021-22 is $160,000.

Main Street Streetscape Project - Last fall, the Town replaced sewer and water infrastructure, installed new curbing, and put down new asphalt between Parade Street and John Street to complete phase 1 of this project. Phase 2, which was funded last year, is now underway and will see the addition of several beautification pieces, landscaping, and features that enhance accessibility and convenience for pedestrians.

Lake Milo Upgrades – Finishing off a series of improvements made last year, $60,000 is being allocated for new flooring, windows and doors, a new fire escape, new counter tops and finish work in kitchen, a new accessible swim ramp, and a new fence for the swim area.

The capital budget is comprised of $2 million from the Town’s operating budget, $809,634 from Federal gas tax, $123,000 from grants and $240,000 for project transferred from the Yarmouth Water Utility.