© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Moose Jaw city hall is pictured.
The operating budget is as good as passed.
On Monday night, the operating budget was approved as amended by a vote of 4-2. Unless some councillors are swayed and decide to revote on the operating budget at council with at least a couple voting it down, the budget will be passed as amended.
It sees a few additions of funding into infrastructure and this is good.
However, the budget doesn’t do enough to address the problem at hand.
Ask pretty much anyone in Moose Jaw, including visitors to the Friendly City, about our roads and the answers will not be positive. Ruts are covering our streets, which are very icy. If there is no snow, the roads are filled with potholes and cracks.
The city saw six water main breaks and that’s only within the past week.
Take one look at the capital budget and the 10-year capital unfunded budget and we can easily see how large our infrastructure deficit is and how many projects we have yet to complete.
The fact is we don’t have enough money, resources and staff to go around. We have far too many problems and we are already years behind. There is only so much we can fund per year and only so many staff we have to do the work.
Taking that into account, we can start to understand why some councillors believe we can’t transfer money from the operating budget to the capital budget because we have too many projects left to do.
But then again, this is the state of how many budgets for many years have passed. This is the logic the majority of councillors have followed for a number of years. By those standards, then, this budget changes very little.
That’s why we need to find as much money for infrastructure as possible.
The operating budget this year isn’t taking sufficient risks. It’s true not all of it can possibly be fixed in one year or even two.
But if we don’t spend a couple years taking those risks and funneling money into infrastructure rehabilitation or replacement, our roads and water lines will continue to deteriorate.
Without enough risks, we can’t expect to see as many sufficient results, which is what this city desperately needs regarding its infrastructure.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.