It’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas, (but that is coming) it’s budget time again! While it may not have the fans that Christmas has it’s certainly just as important. And an important part of this important process is public engagement, which is exactly what the Town council of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is looking for.
“It is very important to get the public’s view of what they would like to see done during the Town’s budget consultation,” said Michelle Baikie, town councillor. “For example, emergency preparedness plan, the spring gulch water, etc. Another would be implementing crosswalks and put out more street lights.”
She said it’s important to hear the views of what the public at large feel is a priority when it comes time to budget for the future.
Baikie said there are no plans to increase taxes this coming year, which will mean there will have to be fiscal restraints in place.
“Everything will be put on the table for review in maintaining the present infrastructure that needs to be prioritized and put attention to in order to move forward in a proactive manner,” she told the Labradorian.
Baikie believes Infrastructure will be the biggest items this budget, such as water. She said during the election that was the biggest issue heard from residents. Another was the emergency preparedness plan.
“We are definitely working on this initiative and hope to have this in place as soon as possible,” she said. “We should also concentrate on putting out more land developments, creating more competition that will create opportunities for reasonable commercial and residential land value for those who want to move, built, work and live here. There is a lot to keep in mind while taking into consideration of what list of items are important from the public consultation and planning of the Town’s next year’s budget.”
With Muskrat Falls winding down another issue at the forefront is encouraging and attracting new businesses to town. Baikie said they need to look at ways to attract large manufacturers to the Town and to connect with the Arctic and do business there, especially since there is a dock in Lake Melville that connects to the Atlantic Ocean.
They hope the public come out for the meeting she said, and ask the public to be mindful of the fiscal restraints they do have.
The consultation meeting is being held at the Town Hall Chamber on Dec 3rd from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.