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Bridgewater Town Council approves 2018-19 budget

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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • No residential or commercial tax increase
  • $685,000 being invested in pavement management projects
  • Full year of public transit, plus a reserve set up for future transit needs
  • Focus on core services, implementation of Economic Development Action Plan, and Community Energy Investment Program

The Town of Bridgewater concluded the 2018-19 budget process on Monday night by officially approving the budget document and setting the tax rate.

The Town will spend approximately $19.8 million next year on operational and $2.9 million on capital costs but will not increase the residential or commercial tax rates.

“The 2018-19 budget is financially responsible, balancing both what we can afford and the level of service our citizens have come to expect,” said Mayor David Mitchell.

“The highlights in this budget include continued support for Energize Bridgewater, as well as a full year of public transit, and all without a tax rate increase,” he noted. “Increasing service to the community while maintaining the tax rate is all because of the hard work that staff put into making sure we live within our means.”

This budget was not without its challenges, the Mayor noted.

“Positions were reduced, which is never an easy or pleasant task,” he said. “Managers, councillors, and I were each asked to find ways to reduce our budgets. The process isn’t fun, but it’s necessary and this budget is good for Bridgewater.”

 BUDGET 2018-19 DETAILS:

  • No tax rate increase – the residential rate will remain, for a seventh-straight year, at $1.65 per $100 of assessment, while the commercial tax rate will remain at $3.97 per $100 of assessment for the second-straight year.
  • Every arm of the Town’s operations, including Town Council, made spending reductions to balance the budget.
  • Bridgewater Transit was extended with no rate increase. A reserve has also been set up for future transit-related purchases.
  • Investment continues in the Energize Bridgewater initiative, with a focus on implementing the Town’s Community Energy Investment Plan.
  • Additional investments were made in wastewater treatment infrastructure and the Town’s paving budget. Next year, $685,000 will be invested in pavement management and street maintenance projects in Bridgewater.
  • Money has been allocated for a downtown banner program, more trails at Generations Active Park, the completion of the Bridgewater Skate Park, and an investment in urban forestry.