Paradise to partner with Metrobus for 2016 pilot project

The Town of Paradise released its 2016 budget Tuesday night, highlighted by a lowering of the mill rate to offset the affect of higher property assessments, and a public transit pilot project.

Ongoing road widening, new fire hall, community centre and outdoor amenities highlighted in budget

The Town of Paradise released its 2016 budget Tuesday night. (CBC)

The Town of Paradise released its 2016 budget Tuesday night, highlighted by a lowering of the mill rate to offset the affect of higher property assessments, and a public transit pilot project.

In its budget, the town is lowering the mill rate from 7.4 to 6.8, but that won't be enough to avoid tax increases.

Town officials say the average homeowner will see their property taxes jump by 10 per cent in 2016.

The town will not be changing the mill rate for commercial properties or the rate for water and sewer.

The overall operating budget for Paradise comes in at $35.6 million, and the town said in a release that includes an allocation of $2.8 million for the new fire station expected to open in June 2016.

An $8-million allocation for road work, mainly widening work on Topsail Road, St. Thomas Line and Paradise Road, is also highlighted.

The town's investment to move forward with automated garbage collection comes with a $2-million price tag.

Another $1.3 million will be invested in the new St. Thomas Line Community Centre, while another $1.2 million is going toward the completion of a splash pad, dog park and concession stand, among other outdoor amenities.

Highlighted in the budget is a $120,000 allocation for a commuter pilot project with Metrobus.

Details remain to be worked out, but the town said the pilot project is expected to start in June. If enough people in Paradise use the bus to commute, the town will explore putting more funding into the service.

This was the first year the town conducted consultations with residents through an online survey.

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