Municipality of East Hants Council Approves 2024/2025 Budgets

April 11, 2024

East Hants Council has approved an overall municipal operating budget of $47.0 million for the upcoming fiscal year. The 2024/2025 Operating Budget was passed at the regular meeting of Council on March 27, 2024. The Five-Year Capital Budget and the Water Utility Operating Budgets were passed in February 2024. These new budgets came into effect on April 1, 2024, demonstrating a commitment to fiscal responsibility and addressing the diverse needs of our communities.

“Council has worked hard to pass a budget which allows us to continue providing the services our residents rely on, ensuring capital investments support the needs of our municipality and continuing to manage growth in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Warden Eleanor Roulston. “Accomplishing this while maintaining an affordable tax rate for our residents is truly a result of the combined efforts of staff and council and I thank both for their hard work and dedication.”

“Any home in the CAP program that had been assessed in 2023 at $300,000 could see an increase in 2024 assessment to as high as $309,600. This, coupled with a decrease in the general tax rate, means the general tax bill increase would be 1.77%, or $46.80 for the year,” explained Wade Tattrie, Director of Finance.

Key highlights of the approved budget include:

  • A decrease in the general residential tax rate from $0.81 to $0.80 per $100 of property assessment (a 1.2% reduction)
  • The final year of a four-year plan to increase the RCMP officer compliment from 23 to 28 officers and add two detachment assistants. This has enabled 24-hour policing for our communities
  • Introduction of Growth Management Grants tailored to the needs of each district of the municipality
  • Preparing plans for the growth of our community. These include:
    o Preparing a Secondary Planning Strategy and related Ground Water Study for Mount Uniacke
    o Preparing a Secondary Planning Strategy for the Lantz Growth Reserve Area prior to the development of those lands
    o Preparing a flood risk mitigation plan for Paley Brook
    o Preparing a water rate review, water outflow study, and a sludge management plan for the Lantz wastewater lagoon
    o Developing a Municipal Housing Strategy
    o Looking at implementing transit as a municipal service

This budget also allocates a substantial investment in our infrastructure. The Operational Business Plan and Five-Year Capital Budgets list ongoing initiatives that support connectivity and growth in our area for 2024 – 2025. Some of these projects include:

  • A Rising Tide Shore marketing initiative that places billboards and directional signage to showcase the diverse tourism experiences along Highway 215
  • New playground planning and development for Centre Rawdon, Lakelands, Charles Drive (Uniacke) and Kiln Creek, Lantz
  • Transportation initiatives related to increasing streetlights throughout Mount Uniacke, traffic calming initiatives, design of Shubenacadie village core parking and Corridor sidewalk renewal
  • The multi-year build out of the active transportation route from Lantz to Elmsdale. The key project for 2024 is a connection from Hwy 214 in Elmsdale to the river crossing to Kiln Creek in Lantz
  • Wastewater collection upgrades in Lantz and Elmsdale, including obtaining easements, force main construction and multiple lift station upgrades
  • Future planning for and expansion of municipal business parks in Uniacke and Elmsdale