It will mean a tax increase but the city will get the infrastructure boost it needs and when compared to other cities in the province, Yorkton is ahead of the game say local city councillors.
On Monday at a regular meeting of Yorkton city council the 2013 Capital Budget was unanimously passed. It includes a 2.5 per cent tax increase and a five year plan that outlines projects requiring more than $6,000,000 in funding.
“All municipalities are facing pressure regarding old infrastructure and needing to find dollars to maintain their assets,” says the city’s Director of Finance Lonnie Kaal. “Yorkton has made good progress in targeting dollars to capital improvements.”
Kaal also says the city’s operating budget will be brought forward later in the year and that due to an expected increase in the provinces Municipal Operating Grant, it should help keep any operating increases to less than Saskatchewan’s consumer price index.
“The largest capital project for 2013 continues to be the drainage projects (requiring $1,130,000) for the almost $8,000,000 being spent from 2011 to 2016.”
Also approved on Monday – among a number of other items – were funds for a new fire truck which comes with a price tag of $670,000; a new snow dumping area ($500,000); an all inclusive play structure at Weinmaster Park; airport improvements; and pothole repairs. Project planning goes into the year 2017 and will see infrastructure improvements along with building upgrades and more efficient ways of looking after daily needs.
“It’s been a long process, it’s taken us two years to get to this point...” says Councillor Chris Wyatt. “I would just like to say to the people of Yorkton that when you look at these numbers... we’re ahead of other communities in this province, quite far ahead... we’ve had to make tough decisions, but it’s getting better and we’re trying our best...”