Carleton Place council discusses library, cost of town insurance and Covid-19 related expenses

Carleton Place town hall.
Photo credit: carletonplace.ca
Posted on: June 25, 2020

Carleton Place Library on the move

At the June 23 session of Carleton Place Council, councilors heard from the town’s manager of recreation and culture, Joanne Henderson about plans to temporarily relocate the library in August of this year.  The building on Beckwith Street is slated for much needed renovations which will take until January or February of next year to complete.  The library board had been searching for a temporary site and was successful in obtaining part of the space at the restored rail station on Coleman Street.  It’s currently home to a senior’s activity centre.  The space will permit the operations of some of the more popular programs as well as a limited selection of books.  The move is expected to happen in mid-August according to Henderson.null

Cost of town insurance on the rise

While many drivers in the province have enjoyed some relief on insurance premiums as a result of the pandemic lock-down, municipalities, especially those on a growth spurt, aren’t so lucky.  Town treasurer Trisa McConkey reported that Carleton Place’s cost were on the rise due to the addition of some substantial capital works and the increasing costs of facility construction.  For a six-month period covering June 2020 to January 2021, the town’s premiums will be $169.875, an increase of 35%.  The structures at the Carleton Junction Park and the addition of the town’s daycare center were 2 examples of new assets requiring insurance coverage.

Town treasury provides Covid-19 related expenses update.

The pandemic costs are adding up at the town hall, but staff is planning to ease the overall burden.  Town treasurer Trisa McConkey reported to council that if recreation facilities are allowed to reopen soon, the reduction in revenues for 2020 would amount to about $282K.  With projected new costs relating to additional sanitizing and PPE when facilities do finally open, that hit on the annual budget will balloon to $336K.  One of the staff recommendations would see reserve funds being used to allow deficit pressures to be spread over several years instead of instituting service reductions and/or substantial tax and user fee increases.

Article by Brian Turner

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