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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How will a Rural Community (RC) create good full-time jobs?        

A. The RC, as one of the top 15 largest incorporated communities in the province, will have economic stability which will attract more business to our region and create additional jobs. Additionally, full-time professional municipal staff can focus on economic development strategies to help bring businesses to the area.

Q. Will there be job losses in administration within municipalities joining the RC?

A. No jobs will be lost from the municipalities when joining an RC.

Q. Will the amalgamation create offset savings?

A. By combining resources there is a potential for some economies of scale. Additionally, the amalgamation provides for extra cash through the Gas Tax Program and other funding programs that are not currently available to LSD’s.

Q. The Western Valley Regional Service Commission (WVRSC) is making the calls now on how funds are spent within the region with each LSD having a vote. Will there be changes made in that regard to better represent LSD concerns?

A. The WVRSC representation is based on a provincial calculation which considers population and tax base. All LSD’s that become part of the RC would be represented by the RC mayor and the remaining LSD’s will still have a representative on the RSC based on the provincial formula.

Q. Why would the municipalities want to join a RC?       

A. Being the 12th or 13th largest incorporated community in the province, it would be a strong attraction for new business and industry.

Rather than losing population, which is the case with many municipalities in this province, the size of the rural community should be a draw to the region. The rural community would have a much stronger voice when lobbying governments on issues or programs.

 

Greater financial capacity, through the pooling of the tax bases of the municipalities and LSDs, totaling nearly $650 million, with a view to providing more economical services at the times chosen by the community.

 

Upon incorporation the rural community would receive approximately an additional $ 450,000 from the gas tax program

Q. What are the criteria for a feasibility study?

A. There is no criteria, as such. The study committee will just thoroughly analyze all the services, rates, wards, name, etc.

Q. Will the amalgamation create offset savings?

A. By combining resources there is a potential for some economies of scale. Additionally, the amalgamation provides for extra cash through the Gas Tax Program and other funding programs that are not currently available to LSD’s.

Q. Who conducts the feasibility study?

A. The round table committee consisting of local members from the LSDs and municipalities, plus someone from the Department of Environment and Local Government.

Q. Who pays for the feasibility study?

A. There is $35,000 from the Gas Tax that is available to be used to help fund the study. The remainder, which would be very little, will be shared equally between all LSDs and municipalities based on tax base.

Q. What will our tax rates be? Will we all have the same rate?

A. The tax rate will be analyzed as part of the feasibility study. With an RC of this size, the increase should be very little, if at all. The rates will not be the same, as they are not the same today when comparing the tax rates for today vs the rates 5 years ago most have increased, some quite substantially.

 

Q. What has the tax rate growth been in other RC’s?

A. Each of them are different, and it must be understood that the rate would also have changed over time if they had stayed as LSDs. Also most have not taken all the services that are provided to the LSDs. In order to estimate the change when staying as LSDs, the regional increase was used to make the comparison. Understanding that this is a rough estimate, many of the rural communities have increased by 1-2ȼ/$100 over the past 5 years. A couple have increased by 4-5ȼ, but that also depends on the size of the RC. Smaller RCs still must pay administration costs, but have a smaller tax base to provide these funds.

 

Q. What is the gas tax? What can we do with gas tax money?

A. The Gas Tax is a reimbursement of gas tax funds to the province from the federal government. There are some restrictions to its use, but these restrictions are quite lax. For instance, the funds cannot be used for maintenance, or the wages of regular staff.

Q. Has anyone been in touch with other RC’s that have recently formed to see if they are happy with the outcome?

A. None of the RCs that have been created to date is unhappy with their decision. The provincial government has not received one complaint from anyone in these RCs.

Q. If we form a RC, will we need a full time Mayor? What will their salary be?

A. None of the other RCs have a full-time mayor. For most, the salary drawn by the mayor barely covers the expenses, if that.

Q. As an RC, how will Carleton North compare on population and tax base with other established RC's?

A. Although the population and tax base for Carleton North is not definite yet, the only one comparable is Beaubassin Est, in both tax base or population.

Q. How will this help to get the population up?

A. Consolidated resources will allow for full-time professional staff in one office that can develop strategies around getting people to want to live here.

Q. How will combining together draw business into the area?

A. Full-time professional staff in one office that can focus on economic development strategies will help to bring businesses to the area.

 

Q. Was there a push from the province to get bigger?

A. The Province only acts on demand. However, the Province is very supportive and pointed out some of the advantages of having a larger tax base and population. Many smaller communities are having a hard time making ends meet as there is not as much funding so need to look at options.

Q. How would it work since the Provincial legislative riding would mean that this Rural Community would have 2 MLA's?

A. There would be no problem with 2 MLAs. The major cities have multiple MLAs, and some MLAs serve partly in a city /town and partly in the LSDs today.

Q. How will becoming an RC affect our local fire departments?

A. An RC does not need to take on any service until, or unless, it can see a benefit to do so.

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