Report on Springhill shows town is going broke as dissolution nears
Town council hopes report clears up reasoning for swift call for dissolution
A new report from the soon-to-be-dissolved town of Springhill shows it is going broke.
The town council of Springhill in Cumberland County passed a motion in March to dissolve its status as a town due to increasing economic pressures.
The five-member town council hoped to add some explanation to the decision to dissolve with the release of a new report from the accounting firm Grant Thornton.
Springhill Deputy Mayor Darrell White says the report is an attempt to address concerns that consultation did not occur before the decision.
“It should give a very clear picture to the residents of the town both why we went forward and the timing of why we went forward, why we couldn't engage in public consultations prior to making the decision,” he said.
The report says the scale of the money problems only became apparent at the beginning of the year.
With poor tax collection and a million dollar bank overdraft, the town was running out of cash and feared it would not be able to meet its payroll, the report says.
The report also says the cost of the town police department is a major consideration and revealed that the town borrowed nearly $800,000 for a new fire truck that was too big for the fire hall.
"We'll become the community of Springhill. Nothing is really going to change except that we'll be part of the Cumberland County municipality, that's all,” said Max Snow, the mayor of Springhill back in March.
At least 10 municipalities in rural Nova Scotia are facing financial failure, according to Nova Scotia Municipal Relations Minister Mark Furey.
Regulators will hear Springhill's application to dissolve in December.