WINDSOR JUNCTION: The uncertainty of what the LWF area rate will look like has put a halt to any future infrastructure projects at the Windsor Junction Community Centre (WJCC)—at least for the time being.
At the WJCC’s annual general meeting on June 2, the topic of the area rate—which are being looked into by HRM staff—came up. HRM staff are finalizing a report that will likely come to regional council in the next month aimed at getting consistency across the board for all 30 area rates.
WJCC board chairwoman Colleen Menard explained as best she could about what a meeting between HRM staff and all area rate groups on May 27. The meeting was held as HRM is putting in place a new policy for all area rate associations.
“That policy is still in development and we don’t know what it’s going to say,” Menard told the crowd of about 30 residents. “Some of the things that staff presented will involve restrictions on spending.
“There’s all of these potential limitations to what the LWFRA will be able to spend that money on.”
However, Menard pointed out that the WJCC is still making improvements and continuing with existing projects such as replacing the doors, building the shade structure, and improving the fence.
She said there are also potential opportunities in terms of how they can work with an organization like the WJCC such as a contribution agreement, among those options.
“At this time we don’t understand what the options are going to be because HRM hasn’t finalized the report yet,” said Menard. “What we’re looking at is putting all future infrastructure projects on hold at the WJCC until we know what these area rate restrictions are going to be.”
Barry Dalrymple spoke to the crowd, reiterating to residents that HRM still would like to do away with the LWFRA and the area rate.
“The report was already written, but they allowed us area rate groups at the meeting to ask questions and provide feedback,” he said. “We have no idea when the report is going to come to council.
“We do know that they have collected the taxes for the first half of the year, so it in some fashion has to continue for the first part of this year.”
Dalrymple mentioned how the previous attempt to get rid of the area rate was only kibosh-ed because of the residents getting emails and phone calls in to councillors in a short four day span.
Menard said she feels that HRM is trying to get more consistency.
“From what I understand of being at the meeting, it’s not about doing away with area rates, but more about creating a policy that will apply across the board to all area rates, and that policy could include limitations and affect each group differently,” she said.