Extra $165,000 for Moosomin in gas tax

August 30, 2021, 1:35 pm
Kevin Weedmark

An example of a BMX pump track

The federal government is providing an extra almost $165,000 for the town of Moosomin, and extra funding for every municipality with the gas tax top-up for this year.

Moosomin was in line to receive $161,837 in gas tax on a per capita basis this year, but will receive an additional $164,717 on top of that, for a total of $326,554.

The funds are from the federal gas tax, but more has been collected than projected, so the federal government has provided gas tax top-ups to municipalities for the last two years.

In 2020, Moosomin received $161,837 in gas tax funding.

This year the town received another $161,837 in gas tax funding and $164,717 in the top-up.

The town will receive $169,517 in gas tax funding in each of 2022 and 2023, and $176,100 in 2024.

The $164,717 wasn’t included in the 2021 budget, as the federal government had announced there would be a top-up but the amount wasn’t known until recently.

“It helps big time,” Mayor Larry Tomlinson said. “We’ve done a lot of work on the streets this year. There is so much paving and patching to do and we were trying to figure out what we can hold off on.

“It was good to get this money. We weren’t expecting that much. It was really good. It was unexpected. Part of it will go toward paving and patching. We have a lot of that to do this year, and we’re trying to do as much as we can with the money we have. The Water Security Agency is now going to make us re-fence around the pump shacks, with a 75 metre buffer around the whole thing, and that was unexpected, and that’s another few thousand dollars, so this will be a big help.”

Town denies tax break to new facility
A request by Bridge Road Developments for a tax break on a proposed long-term care/assisted living facility proposed for Wright Road in Moosomin has been denied.

Although Moosomin has a tax incentive policy to attract new commercial development, the Pipestone House project wouldn’t qualify, because the tax incentive is for commercial and industrial properties, and the new facility is technically a residential building. While Pipestone House would be a nursing home and assisted living facility with 15 full-time equivalent positions, it doesn’t qualify as a commercial property under the town’s incentive policy, because the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency would class the building as residential, not commercial.

“I agree, but we‘ve needed the facility for years,” Councillor Ron Fisk said. “I hate to stall it.”

There was no motion made, but councillors agreed because of the way the incentive policy is worded, the new facility wouldn’t qualify for the tax incentive.

Freeze on ice rental rates
Council agreed to a freeze on ice rental rates at the Mike Schwean Arena this winter.

“Minor Hockey has requested the rate freeze as they look to get back on their feet post Covid restrictions,” Rec Director Mike Schwean told council.

“It would be my recommendation we do freeze these rates. We will have a lot of hours booked this winter so revenue should be quite good so long as any Covid restrictions are not implemented.”

Schwean said rates have risen significantly in recent years as costs rose.

“Financially the rink is doing very well,” he said. “Taking the ice out early helped with power and then the health authority renting all summer really helped with revenue.

“In return for freezing rates we would ask that they book as much ice time in Moosomin as possible.”

Councillors agreed and a motion was passed to freeze the ice rates for this winter.

Most successful year ever for Borderland Co-op Aquaplex
Recreation Director Mike Schwean reported that the town’s pool will have a significant surplus this year.

“This was the most financially successful year we’ve ever had,” he said.

The pool had a budgeted deficit of $30,900 this year (most town facilities operate at a deficit, with general revenue covering the difference between income and expenses), but as of the end of July, the pool was showing a surplus of $59,255.

Grant application for BMX track
The town will apply for a grant from Western Economic Diversification for development of a BMX track at Bradley Park.

An application was made under the Canada Community Revitalization Fund.

If the grant application is successful, WED would cover $123,700, and the town could cover $41,250 of the cost.

Stop sign for Windover
Councillor Kyla Fingas brought up signage at Windover and Henry. She pointed out that in one direction drivers face a stop sign, in the other direction it’s a yield sign.

Council members decided to change it to two stop signs.

RM requests support for airport
The RM of Moosomin is looking for support from other municipalities for the Moosomin Airport expansion project. One thing the RM is looking for is the use of municipal equipment.

“Any equipment that goes out there has to have our people running it,” Councillor Ron Fisk said.

“When our season slows down if we have extra manpower, that’s a good place to put it, but we’re two or three months away from that,” Councillor Murray Gray said. The discussion was tabled until the full council could be present.

No curbing for Cook Road
Council reviewed a request from Justin Young for curbing on Cook Road when the road is repaved.
Councillor discussed the request but noted that the cost of curbing would be $35,000 and decided it will not be curbed at this time.

Kudos to town
Youth Councillor Victor Santos Junior said he has noticed how good the town is looking this summer and has heard a lot of compliments on the town’s appearance.

“There’s lots of great work being done in town,” he said. “I had an aunt come from Ontario, she said the town looks so welcoming. She had come a few years ago and said that it looks much better now.”