June 16, 2014
By Kevin Weedmark
Moosomin town council has passed a 2014 budget that doesn’t increase taxes, but that directs more than half a million dollars to pavement—the most the town has ever spent on pavement in one year.
The municipal mill rate remains at 12.5 mills. It was reduced from 21 mills to 12.5 last year as a result of reassessment.
The budget includes $195,000 for new pavement on Hussein Drive, $180,000 for recapping around town, and $135,000 for patching. The town crew has a lot of patching to do because of water breaks over the winter that required pavement to be dug up. Last year, the town spent $484,000 on paving.
The town of Moosomin has budgeted for total revenue of $5,086,496 this year, and spending of $5,072,381, for a $14,000 surplus.
While the town hasn’t increased taxes this year, it will take in more from taxation this year than last because of the growing tax base. Every new commercial building, rental development, home, garage, and even shed adds to the town’s tax base, so the existing mill rate brings in more revenue.
The property tax levy will bring in $2,042,907 this year, compared with $1,981,060 in 2013, $1,812,591 in 2012, $1,697,052 in 2011, and $1,548,088 in 2010.
The provincial government will contribute slightly less this year. The town will receive $541,049 in revenue sharing in 2014, down from $556,612 last year.
Mayor Larry Tomlinson said council wasn’t sure at the outset that they could do everything needed without increasing taxes. “We figured out what we needed, and we tried working with the dollars we have,” he said. “We worked with it a long time, to make it work out, because we need a lot for paving.”
“With our tax base now, a mill brings in $150,000, and we talked about increasing it by half a mill or a mill, but we decided to hold it pat this year.”
He said the town was able to get almost everything into this year’s budget. One exception is a new street sweeper. Council members feel a new machine is needed, but it wouldn’t fit into the budget for this year, so a new sweeper will be included in the 2015 budget, will be ordered in the new year, and should be in place for spring 2015.
Tomlinson said a lot of time and discussion goes into the budget. “There’s a lot of discussion, a lot of work, a lot of time that goes into it,” he said. “We all put a lot of work into it.”
Now that the budget is set, Tomlinson said the town will determine which streets will be recapped. “We will see what we can do with the dollars we’ve got,” he said.
“There are a lot of streets that could use it.”
The budget includes:
• $30,000 for streetlights on Park Avenue East and the East Access Road
• For Public Works, $70,000 for a used tandem axle gravel truck, $55,000 for a new skidsteer, $15,000 for a new ride-on mower, and $3,300 for a vehicle speed display sign.
• $164,184 for the RCMP, up $12,000 from last year.
• For recreation, $30,000 for renovations to the swimming pool, $25,000 for irrigation on the football field, $23,000 for new streetlights at Bradley Park, and $8,600 for reclaimed asphalt for the Communiplex parking lot. The town purchased 500 tons of reclaimed asphalt from the Trans-Canada Highway paving project currently under way. It will be used on the Communiplex parking lot and packed down.
• $150,000 for water tower rehabilitation, $83,500 for engineering water and sewer projects, $70,000 for new blower moters at the lagoon, $29,000 for constant velocity pumps for the water plant, and $20,000 for work on the town wells near Moosomin Lake.
Mill rate factors remain unchanged from last year at 1.0469 for agricultural land, 0.7665 for residential properties and 1.8373 for commercial properties.