Current Media Releases
Released May 15, 2020
No Tax Rate Increase as Municipality of Colchester Approves 2020-21 Budget
After much scrutiny and thoughtful deliberation, the Municipality of Colchester approved its 2020-21 Operating Budget at a meeting of Council on May 14th.
The budgeting process was especially challenging this year. Council faced many uncertainties relating to COVID-19 and had to meet through ZOOM virtual meetings rather than in person. Despite the unusual circumstances, they were pleased to successfully achieve a balanced budget without increasing tax rates.
“We recognize that many of our residents and businesses may be struggling right now. We worked hard to find ways to reduce spending without impacting our high standard of service, to ensure that we could keep our tax rates the same.” said Colchester County Mayor, Christine Blair.
“We are proud to have one of the lowest tax rates in rural Nova Scotia. We have continued to invest in our reserve funds in preparation for emergency spending if needed and we have continued to invest in capital projects that will help stimulate our struggling economy while improving local infrastructure. I believe we are well positioned to work through these trying times.” said Mayor Blair.
The Operating Budget is set in a context of competing needs, requests, opportunities, and anticipated revenues. Some costs and revenue streams are not within the Municipality’s control. Taxes collected and required to be transferred to the Provincial Government for services such as schools, housing, libraries, and assessment services, and to the Federal Government for policing, increased $389,081 (2.8%) this year to a total of $14,463,224. It is a notable achievement that Council accommodated this increase in the budget without raising tax rates.
“I’m very proud that in this budget we continue to financially support hard-working community organizations throughout Colchester County,” remarked Mayor Blair. The Municipality provides extensive funding for facilities, programs, events, and many not-for-profit community groups in the County. “It is the vital work that these organizations do that makes our communities wonderful and caring places to live in.”
Released April 24, 2020
Colchester Offers Funeral Support to Families of All Victims
Monday evening (April 20) Colchester County Council held an emergency meeting related to the tragic events that occurred in our communities over the weekend.
Much sorrow and heartfelt sympathies were expressed along with concern for the families, friends, and neighbors most affected.
At the meeting, a motion was quickly tabled to support the families of victims left devastated. Council moved to contribute up to $5000 to help offset the funeral expenses of each victim.
“Council shares the incredible heartbreak that so many are feeling at this time. The families of the victims are left to grieve such incredible loss. We felt that this was one way we could alleviate concerns related to funeral costs and allow families to fully focus on healing,” said Mayor Christine Blair.
In memory of those lost, the flags at Colchester Municipal Facilities are flying at half mast.
Families of victims may contact Kelly Gratto-McCarthy at 902 843-4193 or 902 893-0677 for details on how to access the funeral support funding.
Residents are reminded that the Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or someone concerned about them. Call (toll-free) 1-888-429-8167.
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7. Call (toll-free) 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free).
Morneau Shepell has opened its 24/7 bilingual crisis support line to help anyone in need of emotional support as a result of these tragic events. Call (toll free) 1-844-751-2133.
Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia are offering services to enhance the physical and mental health of adults, children, adolescents, and families. Contact 902-422-9183.
HOSPICE Colchester East Hants is also available for grief support by calling 902-893-3265.
For any community member requiring assistance finding the support they need contact Jennifer or Kaitlyn at the Municipality by calling 902-897-3185.
Released April 22, 2020
West Colchester Residents Request Privacy be Respected
Residents of the community of Portapique and surrounding area of West Colchester have requested that media please respect their privacy at this time as they grieve and heal from this senseless tragedy.
They have requested that media not enter their community or contact them.
“We appreciate the condolences and the love that has been expressed to us from all across the country. However, residents have asked the Municipality to convey this request to the media on their behalf. Please leave the community to grieve. The presence of cameras and contacting community members for comment is just too much to bear at this time,” said local Colchester County Councillor, Tom Taggart.
As all can appreciate, this has been a very traumatic event for the community. Thank you for respecting this request.