PORT ELGIN, NB – Concerns for the village’s aging water and sewage systems, as well as keeping the streets and roads in good shape are some of the top priorities for the village of Port Elgin in 2014.
Mayor Judy Scott said recently that the village’s water and sewage system, which is now more than 35 years old, is starting to show the signs of aging.
“We’ve had to make some major repairs on the (sewage) lift stations over the past couple years and overall the whole system is starting to cost money to keep it in good working condition. The provincial government is giving us less and less funding to work with so we’re having to do more with less, and there’s a very difficult balancing act in doing that,” she said.
Scott said the village council is trying hard not to raise property taxes, but with the 2014 budget not yet completed, she’s not sure how things will work out.
“A lot of people are concerned about the condition of the streets, and we are too. But there’s just not enough money available to put new surfaces on village streets. Our 2013 transportation budget was only $14,000, but in the end we had to spend about $18,000 just to do the patching that we did. Sure, we could pave the streets, but it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and taxes would go up a lot. I don’t think residents want that either,” she noted.
The village is continuing to concentrate on environmental issues as well, and will be moving forward in its efforts to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 20 per cent over the next 10 years, as part of Milestone two of the Partners for Climate Change program which is funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
“We’re concerned about the environmental aspects of the village; we want to keep it safe and sound now and for the future. And we’ve been making an effort to plant trees and flowers and to keep it looking good,” she said.
To that end, she said she’s very pleased with some of the renovations various businesses have undertaken over the past year.
“We’re looking good and we want the world to know Port Elgin welcomes new residents and visitors alike and is always open to new businesses,” Scott said.