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Taxes up in Village of Hazelton, stay same in New Hazelton

District focusing on community hall and Village’s priority is the new recreation centre.

Taxpayers in the District of New Hazelton will not see an increase in their taxes this year.

According to Mayor Gail Lowry, not raising taxes was important to council.

Chief administrative officer Wendy Hunt added that any differences in taxation were due to changes in assessment and increases in funding requisitions from other governing bodies.

On this books for this year is a plan for a new community hall. The District recently purchased a vacant building where the Fields store used to be.

“We are in need of a hall here,” said Lowry. “There is the old Lion’s Hall, but it is a very old building and it needs a lot of work. It isn’t worth fixing.”

The District recently got an NDI (Northern Development Initiative Trust) grant to renovate their new property to turn into a community centre. It is slated to be done by the end of this year.

Also this year, the Thirteenth Avenue watermain project that was delayed due to weather at the end of the season in 2017 will be finished. It is expected to be done by mid-summer.

Old Hazelton

Over in the Village of Hazelton, taxes are going up but utility fees will stay the same.

The total raised by municipal taxes for 2018 will be $173,000. The municipal tax is going up by 2.5 per cent, which means the average homeowner will see an increase of about $47.

Chief administrative officer Tanalee Hesse said council has made the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre a priority and will not be undertaking any other large capital projects in 2018. (See story on A13.)

“The Village’s main budget impact this year will happen as the Village starts to pay off its commitment to the capital costs of the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre,” she said in an email to The Interior News.

“With a total commitment of $590,000, the Village will pay $117,750 per year out of general revenue over four years to meet this commitment.”

Mayor Alice Maitland said the Village is sitting in a good spot.

“It looks like a tough budget for us, and it is because it limits what we can spend on other projects in the community but not everything,” she said. “We are debt free and we have a good sized surplus so if there is an emergency we wouldn’t be destitute. Putting our share into the arena does limit what we can do for the next five years but we are in good shape.”

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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