HAPPY NATAL DAY 2017!
Musquodoboit Harbour AREA RATE TAX FATE
Prior to HRM Amalgamation in 1996, the County of Halifax had several area rate taxes for various services and purposes. Over the years, area rates for Fire Departments and street lighting were incorporated into the HRM General Base Tax Rate; but there are still a few rates that remain. One such tax rate is the Musquodoboit Harbour & Area Common Rate of $0.005 (½ cent) per $100 of assessment.
Established back in the early days of building the rink and the lighted ballfields, the levy was to help with the paying of some of the utilities for these facilities. Now those particular costs are embedded within their everyday operations. With the evolution and changes done to our overall Municipal Property Tax Structure, HRM staff is proposing the discontinuation of this tax rate because it no longer has any clearly established purpose or defined business plan. Any funds used from this account were requested by an application to the Councillor and then submitted for approval by the Harbour East – Marine Drive Community Council.
The Musquodoboit Harbour Common Area Rate catchment zone applies to the communities of Musquodoboit Harbour, West Petpeswick, East Petpeswick, Smith Settlement and Ostrea Lake. In total, there are 1,888 residential and resource properties that get pegged with this tax. The balance in this accrued account is approximately $41,000. Annually this area rate collects approximately $10,400, and these funds can only be spent on projects that have a direct benefit to the communities affected. This tax rate has seen limited use in the past few years. It has been used to make contributions toward special projects such as the compostable toilet for the Rails to Trail corridor, some boats for Petpeswick Yacht Club Junior Youth Sailing Program, the local Chamber of Commerce Conceptual Community Masterplan and for picnic tables in the Peace Park.
This tax rate has seen limited use in the past few years. It has been used to make contributions toward special projects such as the compostable toilet for the Rails to Trail corridor, some boats for Petpeswick Yacht Club Junior Youth Sailing Program, the local Chamber of Commerce Conceptual Community Masterplan and for picnic tables in the Peace Park. Currently, there is about $41,000 held in-trust in this account.
HRM Regional Council is requesting that the local Councillor consults with the applicable communities as to their potential continuation or possible disposition of this tax rate. It is my intention to hold a public information session jointly with the Musquodoboit Harbour & Area Chamber of Commerce & Civic Affairs at its regularly scheduled Town-hall Meeting on Wednesday Sept. 20th at 7 PM in the Multi-purpose Room at the Rink on Park Road. A possible plebiscite may be required to determine its ultimate fate.
More details on this report at:
CAREGIVERS NOVA SCOTIA
This is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing recognition and practical supports to friends and family giving care. Caregivers, both experienced and new, often need help finding information and resources to assist them. Caregivers-NS will help to answer your questions and direct you to the appropriate resources regarding benefits, home care, respite, long-term care, legal matters, palliative care
and more. They have Caregiver Support Lines and Support Groups to assist you with your endeavours. All of their programs and services are FREE.
For more information, contact them at:
902-421-7390 or Toll-free 1-877-488-7390
Caregivers NS Association
3433 Dutch Village Road, Suite 2
Halifax, NS, B3N 2S7.
WEEKLY GREEN CARTS EXTENDED
During this year’s budget debate, HRM Regional Council decided to an extension of its weekly organic green cart collection program. Now it will last until the end pf September. For more information about this initiative, please go to:
Please be Green!
COMMUNITY SIGNS COMPLETED
Back in 2003 & 2004, HRM first started with its gateway signs at every entry point into the municipality welcoming motorists and advising that they have entered Halifax Regional Municipality. In 2006, the second phase of community signs was started to delineate the boundaries of all 192 communities that were identified through its Civic Addressing Project. https://legacycontent.halifax.ca/commcoun/ccc/documents/412.pdf
The placement of “Welcome” Signs was first started in the furthest rural communities and then inward towards the suburban region and urban core. Finally, this summer of 2017 the last of these 78 community boundary signs will be erected in our district – Westphal – which is on the cusp of the rural / suburban service boundary areas. Those areas should soon be seeing their own community and neighbourhood signs. Initially these signs had the HRM Lighthouse & Waves logo but as they become weather worn and wind beaten, they will be replaced with the newer HALIFAX brand.
SHEET HARBOUR SIDEWALK TAX STAYS
Back in June 2010, HRM Council approved the implementation of an uniform charge to fund the construction and on-going maintenance of the Sheet Harbour Streetscape Project. The uniform charge of $11.84 per property assessment was to be applied to all taxable residential, resource and commercial properties within the catchment area from East Ship Harbour to Ecum Secum. This levy is to recuperate operational funds for the maintenance of the sidewalk such as snow plowing & ice control, grass cutting, insurance and
any other repairs. I have asked HRM staff to prepare a report on different options that could be considered as alternative tax regimes for this purpose.
The options are:
1. keep the rate and area as is, or,
2. alter the area to the Sheet Harbour Community boundary
area only, or,
3. concentrate the tax rate to the village core area of Sheet
Details about these scenarios can be found in a Supplementary Staff Report :
I will be having an Information Session in conjunction with the Sheet Harbour & Area Chamber of Commerce & Civic Affairs meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 6th at 7 PM in the Lions Centre on Pool Road. This report and its ramifications will be discussed. Public input will be sought on how this matter ought to go forward into the future. In the meantime, this tax rate will be staying as is for this fiscal year.
BIG FESTIVALS ON THE SHORE
August will be a busy month for many festivals and events on the Eastern Shore:Natal Day weekend in
- Natal Day weekend in metro will crescendo on Monday, Aug. 7th with Sidney Crosby celebrating his 30th birthday with the Stanley Cup in tow during the Natal Day parade. There will also be the Jewers Family Reunion in Moser River / Ecum Secum during that same weekend.
- The PLCSA will be reviving the Lake & Shore Days Family Festival during August 10th -13th. This year’s theme is “Red, White & True” as a tribute to Canada 150 celebrations. More details can be found on their website: www.PLCSA.org or on their Facebook Page: Porters Lake Community Centre.
- Also, that same week is the annual Seaside Festival in Sheet Harbour with many activities. A special occasion will be the 160th Anniversary of St. Peter’s Parish with a celebratory afternoon Mass on Thursday, Aug. 10th. More event information can be found at www.sheetharbour.ca.
- Both communities will be having street parades on Saturday, Aug. 12th at 11 AM in Porters Lake and 1 PM in Sheet Harbour, so expect some traffic delays along Highway 7 on that particular day.
- Don’t forget the 14th Annual Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival at Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte also on Saturday, Aug. 12th from 11 AM – 10 PM.
- The biggest event of the month will be the 39th Annual Sandcastle & Sculpture Day at Clam Harbour Beach on Sunday, Aug. 20th with the park gates opening at 9 AM. This event occurs rain or shine but I would recommend bringing a bicycle along to peddle into the park to avoid the traffic. Shuttle bus services will be available along Clam Harbour Road. See you out and about!
CONSTRUCTION & RENO PERMITS
All homes need to be built to meet minimum public health, fire and structural safety and property protection standards. Permits and inspections help to ensure that these standards are met so that your home will provide a safe and healthy environment. When building a new home or making an addition or doing some renovations, please consult with the HRM Planning Division for directions on proper permits.
There are 7 required inspections that must occur during the construction process:
1. Footing inspection;
2. Prior to backfill of a foundation;
3. Underground plumbing;
4. Rough-in plumbing;
5. Framing inspection;
6. Prior to drywall installation, and
7. Final Building Inspection.
A house should not be occupied prior to the issuance of an Occupancy Permit to ensure all health and life safety issues have been addressed.
For more information, go to: www.halifax.ca/home-property/building-regulations/permits-inspections-building-projects