Bristol holds 2015 budget consultation

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Deborah Powell

BRISTOL – In an historic first, Bristol Council held a public consultation for the 2015 budget, October 6. No information was given about the budget process beyond that it would be presented to the public in December, but members of the public were invited to make suggestions and ask questions.

Deborah Powell

BRISTOL – In an historic first, Bristol Council held a public consultation for the 2015 budget, October 6. No information was given about the budget process beyond that it would be presented to the public in December, but members of the public were invited to make suggestions and ask questions.
When asked how the mill rate was set for the new assessment period, Mayor Brent Orr responded that because more taxes are collected from the new roll, the mill rate will roll back for the first year.
A question was asked about how much is set aside as a reserve fund and it was explained that 6 or 7 times average monthly expenditures is set aside for emergencies. On other topics, council confirmed there would be lifeguards at the Norway Bay beach next year and that they will cover the cost of water     testing.
Council was asked if money will be budgeted to deal with erosion on right-of-ways and the Norway Bay beach as the Ministry of the Environment will not allow any sand to be added until measures are taken to ensure it doesn’t end up in the river every year. Councillor Phillip Holmes explained it cost $500 just to make an application to do shoreline work and that low-profile concrete barriers will be partly buried in the sand to redirect runoff.
Highlights from regular council meeting
Orr announced that wharf repairs had been completed and a draft     by-law was approved for rezoning a property near Bristol village to allow more acreage to be         used for Bristol Auto’s         commercial activities.
Work on the Aylmer Road will be finished in the spring and Cemetery Road is next on the list for road repairs.
A response was received from Telebec regarding cable installation for high speed Internet, saying that action could be taken in the first quarter of 2015, pending approval from their financial group.
Holmes requested the by-law dealing with nuisances (noise and property) be revised as it dates from 1982 and the maximum fine is only $20. He also mentioned the location for the kayak storage building at the beach was again under study as the first plan was too close to the high-water mark.
Councillor Graham brought forward a concern from a resident of Keon Road regarding the inaccuracy of GPS maps for the area which resulted in police arriving at a locked gate when they were responding to an emergency call.