© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Coun. Brian Swanson, Coun. Heather Eby and Coun. Patrick Boyle listen to the comments surrounding the proposed 10-year unfunded capital budget during Monday's council meeting.
When it comes to the 10-year unfunded capital budget, Moose Jaw has $218.86 million in infrastructure deficit.
“It’s a very significant deficit,” said Brian Acker, director of financial services. “At some point municipalities like Moose Jaw will have to consider something like an infrastructure levy … and provide funding for some of this unfunded capital works.”
Acker and city manager Garry McKay presented the proposed 10-year unfunded capital budget to council during Monday’s meeting after the proposed five-year capital budget that has expenditures of $102.83 million over five years. The majority of council voted to forward the estimates to budget committee for detailed review.
“I don’t see how we can deal with it without partnership with senior levels of government,” said Coun. Don Mitchell. “We do not have the resource capacity to address issues that involve health and community safety in terms of basic sewer and water infrastructure.”
Acker said the city did an analysis of distribution of all taxation that comes back to Moose Jaw. He said five cents of every dollar of taxation (federal, provincial and municipal) collected in Moose Jaw is returned to the city through a property tax levy. The provincial government gets 44 cents and the federal government gets 51 cents.
“I think that (information) is quite telling in terms of the funding for our infrastructure improvements,” said Acker. “It’s quite obvious from that at five cents in a dollar municipalities can’t fund all of this alone.”
But Coun. Brian Swanson said the unfunded budgets, which are in their sixth year of being assembled, are “set up to plead our case to higher levels of government.” He said the graph doesn’t include the SPC (SaskPower Corporation) surcharge on everyone’s power and gas bills or the provincial revenue-sharing grant.
For more information, see Wednesday's edition of the Times-Herald.