Tuesday September 02, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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Weyburn taxpayers see $40 annual base tax increase

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Municipal taxes will be increased in 2014 as Weyburn City Council passed the 2014 operating budget on March 10.

The base tax will increase 3.5 per cent for a single family dwelling due to increases in police, fire and snow removal, said City Manager Bob Smith.

In approving the budget, Smith said council had asked administration to come back with a maximum increase of 3 per cent, and while the final budget did have a higher increase, it was within reason, and the expenses were justified.

The Weyburn Police Service will see a 4.8 per cent increase in their operating budget for wages, a transition in bylaw and parking enforcement as well as a new vehicle.

An increase of 6.9 per cent to the Fire Department for wages, new equipment and fleet enhancement.

Jon Michaud, Director of Finance presented what the increase and total tax would be for a house with an assessed value of $250,000.

The mill rate for the city remains at 3.372 per cent, with a proposed base tax of $590. That amount is a $40 increase from 2013. The total municipal tax will be $1,180.10. When adding in the school mill rate, which was at 5.030 per cent in 2013, and the hospital levy of $140, that puts total taxes at $2,200.35.

Compared to other cities in the province, the increase is among the lowest.

Major facilities repairs are also in the budget for 2013. A total of $500,000 has been set aside to cover repairs at City Hall, the Weyburn Police Station, Crescent Point Place, and the Leisure Centre.

* The Envrionment Committee is asking city council to investigate the costs of a curbside recycling program for Weyburn.

"Curbside recycling has been shown to result in an approximate 40 per cent decrease in refuse being hauled to the landfill, which would ensure a longer life span for our landfill," said Winston Bailey, environment committee member.

The system would consist of roll out carts being provided to each household and pick up would occur every two weeks.

"In the program, we would take cardboard, plastic, cans, bottles, tin cans and glass, all in one bin. The recycling company would do the sorting," said Bailey.

Curbside pick up would alleviate some of the issues with dumping at the East Avenue location as well as take 40 per cent of recyclable materials that is being hauled to the landfill, out of the refuse site.

Bailey said the study would take a few months, and council will be addressing this at the next council meeting.

* During the month of February, the City of Weyburn issued eight building permits with a total construction value of just over $1 million. Of these eight permits, one was for a commercial addition, two for new mobile homes, three for residential additions and two single family dwelling units.

To date, the city's building department has issued 15 building permits.


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