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News & Events

News release: Municipality in Strong Financial Health, According to Provincial Financial Condition Indicators

July 3, 2019 / For Immediate Release

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – The Province recently released annual Financial Condition Indicators results for 2017/18, showing that the Municipality is in strong financial health.

The indicators provide a risk‐based approach to evaluating municipalities and are presented in a house format graph. This visual focuses on key performance indicators, leading financial indicators and potential internal and external factors that could have an impact on a municipality’s financial results. The risk thresholds are coloured: yellow indicates medium risk, red indicates high risk and green, low risk. The overall financial condition risk assessment for our Municipality is green, which means that the Municipality is considered low risk for fiscal instability.

“MODL has green indicators for all categories, with the exception of budget accuracy, which is red due to budget surpluses,” said Elana Wentzell, Director of Finance. “A budget can change throughout the year when we plan for projects that may not move forward or are delayed due to funding partnership approvals, or when revenue estimates are too conservative. The surpluses are placed in reserves to ensure there are funds to help mitigate the financial impact of major, non‐recurring or unforeseen expenditures on the Municipality’s annual operating budget as well as take advantage of unexpected opportunities to leverage external funding programs.”

Based on the indicators related to municipal revenues, MODL’s general operating revenue is stable. Our assessment growth is above the Consumer Price Index indicating our tax base is able to cover increasing costs of municipal services and programs. Based on the indicators related to general operating expenses, MODL has been able to meet its needs in a balanced manner and has maintained a balanced budget. As well, we have preserved prudent debt and reserve levels while maintaining capital assets with 73% useful life remaining.

“The Municipality is in a strong financial position,” said Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “We continue to maintain our tax rate and remain on track to be debt free by 2021. As the report shows, Council continues to set aside sufficient funds to help mitigate any unforeseen risks, we are not dependent on another level of government to meet service obligations, and we have healthy reserves to help address unexpected events and provide flexibility to address future projects.”

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Media contact:

Elana Wentzell, CPA CMA
Director of Finance
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
(902) 541-1322

News release: Eastlink Begins Fibre Installation in Baker Settlement

High speed internet network installations underway in Baker Settlement

June 28, 2019 - BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – High speed internet installations, powered by Eastlink fibre, are well underway in the Baker Settlement area as part of the Baker Settlement/Hemford/Hemford Forest internet expansion project.

Built to the plan that was outlined and approved by the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, this project is funded by a partnership between the Government of Canada’s Connect to Innovate program, the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust, the Municipality and Eastlink.

“We are so pleased to be part of this project, which will bring our core, fibre-based services to more residents in the Municipality,” says Deborah Shaffner, Eastlink CEO.

Eastlink’s core services include high speed internet and WiFi with speeds up to 1 GB, TV (including Eastlink’s exclusive TV Channel Exchange) and home phone with the option to bundle services.

“Access to high-speed Internet is of critical importance to the Municipality, and a key priority for our Council,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “This investment will make an important and significant contribution towards economic development and quality of life in these communities.” 

“Broadband Internet service is key for the prosperity of rural Canadian communities. This project will allow residents in Baker Settlement to be better connected to friends, family and businesses, as well as have better access to online services and tools. By providing better broadband connections, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and diversification and enhancing the quality of life in small and rural communities,” says the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development.

 “Connecting more rural Nova Scotians to reliable, high-speed Internet is an ongoing priority for the province,” said Mark Furey, MLA for Lunenburg West and Minister of Justice.  “Last year we committed $193 million into the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust and placed responsibility for the implementation and management of rural Internet with Develop Nova Scotia. Now we are beginning to see results in Baker Settlement, with many more communities to come across Nova Scotia.”

The Municipality recognizes that there remain underserved areas in the Municipality that are not part of this project. As such, the Municipality continues to work on solutions to further expand service to more of these areas, which may possibly benefit from its TNC project or projects that may qualify for funding from the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust, through Develop Nova Scotia.

Learn more at www.modl.ca/Internet and for more information about Develop Nova Scotia’s Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative, visit https://developns.ca/projects/rural-internet/

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Media contact:

Sarah Kucharski
Communications Officer
(902) 541-1328

News release: Municipality Revises 2019/2020 Capital Budget

June 26, 2019 / For Immediate Release

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – At the June 25 Council meeting, Council approved a 2019-20 Capital Budget revision to fund the additional monies required to proceed with the Municipal Services building project within the current total capital allotment.

A savings was found in the Municipal Services Building Project in the amount of $107,000 by deleting the requirement for AWMAC certification for the millwork, deleting the redundant catch-basin identified, and allowing inclusion of equivalent light fixtures and access control systems into the project. This reduces the budget overage to $998,261.

The decision was made to defer the Riverport School demolition and remediation project until funding from other levels of government is approved. It is most likely that this will not happen until next fiscal year. Staff recommend that $30,000 from the $1,099,000 project total be retained to get the project tender ready. Savings from this deferral total $1,069,000.

Council continues to demonstrate its commitment to Sound Finances by ensuring the 2019-20

Capital Budget does not exceed the approved total of $14,576,200. As well, there will be no impact on the debt-free strategy nor will this decision impact tax rates.

For more information, please visit www.modl.ca/210Aberdeen

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Media contact:

Sarah Kucharski
Communications Officer
(902) 541-1328

News release: Municipality Approves Fire Service Recruitment and Retention Strategy

June 13, 2019 / For Immediate Release

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently approved a Fire Recruitment and Retention Strategy that aims to reverse the decline in numbers of Fire Service volunteers in the region.

Fire and Emergency services run by volunteer departments are a vital part of the Municipality’s protective services and provide a crucial resource to communities. As a result, Council understands the value of a Fire Service that has active and committed volunteers.

In partnership with the Municipality’s Fire and Emergency Services Committee (FESC), Council identified a strong need for a Recruitment and Retention Strategy to address the challenges associated with attracting potential volunteers. This Recruitment and Retention Strategy is aimed at assisting fire departments with various marketing and communications efforts that will lead to increased volunteerism.

“Volunteers in the Fire Service, whether they be firefighters, auxiliary members or other volunteers, are vitally important to the provision of emergency services in the Municipality,” said Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “We are very grateful for the efforts of our Fire Service volunteers and acknowledge the urgent need to support them in ensuring their viability.”

The Municipality will invest up to $60,000 annually in recruitment and retention efforts that will include, but are not limited to:

  • The development of specialized marketing materials for fire departments
  • Community outreach through attendance of local events
  • Recruitment toolkits and packages for departments
  • Increased recognition efforts for those who are a part of the region’s Fire Service.

The Recruitment and Retention Strategy is available at www.modl.ca/FireServices

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For more information, please contact:

Sarah Kucharski
Communications Officer
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
Phone: (902) 541-1328

News release: Municipality Awards Construction of New Municipal Services Building

June 5, 2019 / For Immediate Release

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – Council awarded Tender 2019-05-002 MODL Municipal Services Building to Roscoe Construction to build a new Municipal Services Building in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg at a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

The current building, located at 210 Aberdeen Road, does not meet National Building Code or Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Act. Space, air quality and security issues are some of the primary deficiencies with the existing building. A report produced by Catalyst Consulting determined that it would be more expensive to renovate and expand the existing building to meet accessibility, space and code requirements than it would be to invest in a new building.

The initial budget estimate for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 was set at a total construction cost of $7.2 million, with a revision based on design changes to $7.6 million. The three bids received on the Phase 2 Building Construction package were higher than budgeted, and the total construction cost for both Phase 1 and 2 is now expected to be $8.7 million.

The building will be located on municipally-owned land at Osprey Village, and the design of the building was developed to use as many locally-sourced materials and tradespeople as possible, and to achieve an energy use that is 30% less than National Building Code requirements. In addition to being fully accessible, the design of the building will enable the Municipality to offer improved service for the thousands of residents who utilize the building each year.

“We were hoping to see the Phase 2 Construction cost come in around $5.5 million, but the lowest bidder was $6.6 million,” says Mayor Carolyn-Bolivar Getson. “This is due to a large discrepancy in the estimates for three trades - specifically millwork, mechanical and electrical. We plan to work with Roscoe Construction to see what can be done to decrease those costs and bring the total project cost closer to the initial estimate.”

The original estimate amount of $7.6 million will be drawn from reserves. Council directed staff to find the additional $1.1 million from savings on other capital projects. This will ensure the Municipality’s 2019/2020 capital budget will remain at the approved $14,576,200. The Municipality will not incur debt or raise taxes to construct the new building and continues to be on track to be debt-free by 2021.

For more information, please visit www.modl.ca/210Aberdeen.

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Media contact:

Sarah Kucharski,
Communications Officer
(902) 541-1328

News release: Council Passes 2019-2020 Budget

May 14, 2019 / For Immediate Release

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg approved the 2019/20 operating and capital budgets at its meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

The Municipality approved its annual operating budget of $31,189,600 with a $89,800 surplus. The capital budget is $14,576,200. This budget continues the Municipality’s track record of strong financial management, while continuing to meet the needs of residents. Council continues to be on track to be debt free by 2021 while maintaining stable tax rates and contributions to reserves.

“This Council is dedicated to ensuring the Municipality is a place where people choose to live. Through the Budget process, Council must balance provincial and federal priorities, long-term initiatives, immediate needs and opportunities, and feedback from public engagement sessions. The information gathered informs Council’s strategic priority setting process, which in turn informed the Budget document preparation,” said Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson.

“We have maintained the tax rate while investing in important projects such as expanding access to high speed Internet, moving forward with the LaHave Straight Pipe Replacement Program and the introduction of an innovative project around Lyme Disease that is comprised of an educational campaign and bait station research. We are also investing in the future with the construction of a new Municipal Services building, funded through reserves. We are committed to using taxpayer dollars effectively and responsibly.”

The 2019-20 budget focuses on four key themes:

  • Making Life Affordable–by maintaining the tax rates and increasing tax rebates for low-income residents.
  • Building the Local Economy–through partnerships with the business community and initiatives such as high-speed Internet, investment attraction and agriculture.
  • Protecting the Environment–through the LaHave River Straight Pipe Program and investments in wastewater treatment and floodplain mapping.
  • Investing in our Community–by supporting a tick awareness campaign and bait station research program, and by providing various recreational opportunities across the Municipality through programming, parks and facilities.

The Municipality ended the 2018/19 fiscal year with a forecasted surplus of $1.2M, which is the fourteenth consecutive year with an operating surplus.

Budget highlights are available at: https://www.modl.ca/i-want-to/read/municipal-budget

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Media contact:

Elana Wentzell, CPA CMA
Director of Finance and Municipal Treasurer
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
(902) 541-1322

News release: Councils plan to work together on sustainable operation of HB Studios Sports Centre

April 9, 2019 – At a special joint meeting between the Town of Bridgewater (TOB) and the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) on April 9, the Councils declined the funding request of the South Shore Field House Society (which operates the HB Studios Sports Centre), and instead directed their respective CAOs to prepare a report on alternative models for the sustainable operation of the fieldhouse facility.

“As the public is aware, HB Studios Sports Centre is struggling right now under the weight of its debts,” said Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell. “Both the Town and the Municipality recognize the importance of this regional facility – it is one of just a handful of year-round indoor turf facilities in the entire province. It not only serves soccer players and a variety of other athletes of all ages from Lunenburg and Queens counties, but it’s also an asset that draws people in from other parts of Nova Scotia and has a positive economic impact on our region.”

The South Shore Field House Society opened HB Studios Sports Centre in 2006. At that time, both municipal units agreed to each contribute a combined $620,000 in operating funds over 10 years. During this time, the Society was unable to pay off the capital debt from the construction of the facility. Today, the Society’s debt stands at more than $400,000.

Though the facility is the only indoor sports field in the area and boasts a diverse user group, the cost to run such a facility is high. In 2018/2019, the municipalities contributed $32,000 from MODL and $25,000 from TOB. This spring, the Society requested that the municipalities each commit to contributing more than $40,000 per year for a period of five years to help alleviate the Society’s debt and cash-flow issues.

After careful consideration of this most recent request, the Councils agreed that in order to balance the needs and requests of community groups with fiscal responsibility and accountability, the current funding request cannot be supported. Instead, the CAOs will work with the Society and other stakeholders to develop alternatives for Council consideration that would allow the facility to operate in a fiscally sustainable manner. 

“Our Council is very interested in working with the Town of Bridgewater, and continuing a dialogue with stakeholders, including the Society, to explore other options for the future sustainable operation of the facility,” said the Municipality’s Mayor, Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “Our goal is to ensure that fieldhouse remains part of our region’s vibrant recreational offerings. Our Councils firmly believe that there is a path forward and it must be a true collaborative effort with all local municipalities helping to share the load.”

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For further information please contact:

David Mitchell
Mayor, Town of Bridgewater
902-541-4364

Tammy Wilson
CAO, Town of Bridgewater
902-541-4363

Sarah Kucharski
Communications Officer, MODL

Phone: (902) 541-1328

News release: Municipality to Build New Municipal Services Building

March 12, 2019 / For Immediate Release

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – After extensive study and public engagement that began in the spring of 2017, Council voted to build a new Municipal Services Building in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg at their Tuesday, March 12, 2019 Council meeting.

The current building, located at 210 Aberdeen Road, does not meet National Building Code or Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Act. Space, air quality and security issues are some of the primary deficiencies with the existing building. A report produced by Catalyst Consulting determined that it would be more expensive to renovate and expand the existing building to meet accessibility and code requirements than it would be to invest in a new building.

The building will be located on municipally-owned land at Osprey Village, and will cost $7.2 million to construct. The design of the building was developed to use as many locally-sourced materials and tradespeople as possible, and to achieve an energy use that is 30% less than National Building Code requirements. In addition to being fully accessible, the design of the building will enable the Municipality to offer improved service for the thousands of residents who utilize the building each year.

“Municipal services have changed substantially in the 48 years since this building was constructed,” says Mayor Carolyn-Bolivar Getson. “We believe that the construction of a modest building will be the most effective use of the money we have set aside for this project. Previous and current Councils have set funds aside for this project for many years, which means the Municipality will not incur debt or raise taxes to build a new Municipal Services building. The Municipality continues to be on track to be debt-free by 2021.”

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Media contact:

Sarah Kucharski
Communications Officer
(902) 541-1328
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Media Advisory: New Administration Building Open House

February 5, 2019 / For Immediate Release

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg is holding an Open House to allow interested residents to review the designs for the new Administration Building.

Tuesday, February 26
7-9pm
Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre
Multipurpose Room

Public feedback is open until Friday, March 1. Residents can submit their thoughts on the design by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by attending the open house at the LCLC on Tuesday, February 21 from 7 to 9pm. 

A consultation report summarizing the public feedback received will be provided to Council, along with a presentation from the Project Manager, in March 2019. At that time, Council will make a decision on whether or not to move forward with the new building.

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Media contact:

Sarah Kucharski
Communications Officer
(902) 541-1328
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

News release: Property Tax Exemption Raised for Low-Income Homeowners

January 22, 2019 / For Immediate Release

BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg is pleased to announce that at the January 22, 2019 Council meeting, Council approved a motion to increase the Property Tax Exemption for low-income homeowners.

Homeowners with household incomes under $29,999 (previously $24,999) are eligible to receive up to $500 relief from their property tax bill, based on their household income.

“The Property Tax Exemption is one of the ways the Municipality supports our residents who are facing financial hardship,” said Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “We hope to see more residents that qualify take advantage of this rebate by applying for the Property Tax Exemption.”

Household Income

Maximum Exemption Value

Previous Exemption Value

Under $9,999

Up to $500

Up to $400

$10,000 - $14,999

Up to $400

Up to $300

$15,000 – $19,999

Up to $250

Up to $200

$20,000 - $24,999

Up to $150

Up to $100

$25,000 - $29,999

Up to $100

N/A

To apply for the Property Tax Exemption, visit the Administration Building at 210 Aberdeen Road, or go to Property Tax Exemption

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Media contact:

Sarah Kucharski
Communications Officer
(902) 541-1328
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.