Council received an information update from the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) at Monday’s regular council meeting.
Coun. Dawn Luhning, council representative on the SUMA board, provided the update regarding the proposed advocacy funding. The matter will be reviewed at the upcoming SUMA annual convention from Feb. 3 to 6. Luhning said the decision would directly affect how much the city would pay to SUMA.
The board considered a proposal that SUMA membership rates for 2013 would include a base amount of $1,000 per delegate plus $0.60 for the first 100,000 population and $0.30 for population more than 100,000. It also resolved the additional revenue generated by those rates be used for SUMA’s policy and communications department for advocacy.
Currently, SUMA’s base is $508.03 per delegate with a rate of $0.55 for the first 100,000 and $0.275 for population higher than 100,000. According to the SUMA report, Moose Jaw has a population of 33,274 and its base amount for members is $3,556.21. With a per capita of $18,300.70, with the total of fees for the city members being $21,856.91.
If the proposed advocacy funding rate increase is implemented, Moose Jaw’s base for members would be $7,000 with a per capita amount of $19,964.40 for a total of $26,964.40. That is an increase of $5,107.49 or 23.4 per cent. Larger cities, such as Saskatoon and Regina, would see a smaller increase.
Coun. Don Mitchell and Luhning said the distribution is disproportionate. Coun. Candis Kirkpatrick said all council members should be voting delegates at the SUMA convention.
The advocacy work would be based on a multi-year plan to be reviewed and approved by the board annually. The dedicated funding is proposed to be in place for three years with a membership review at the 2016 convention when a membership vote in support of the funding would be required. Council voted to receive and file the report.
Other items considered at Monday’s meeting:
• Council voted in favour of referring the 2013 police service operating budget to the budget committee for consideration. The gross operating expenditure budget totals approximately $8.82 million, a 4.47 per cent increase over 2012. The estimated revenue directly related to law enforcement that police service retains for 2013 is $1.17 million, an increase of 8.2 per cent from 2013. Taking away that embedded revenue, the net operating budget is $7.64 million, which is a 3.91 per cent increase over 2012.
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.