Thursday, 04 January 2018 10:06

A review of the City of Swift Current 2018 budget: by the numbers

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City of Swift Current councillors approved the municipal budget for 2018 at their final meeting before Christmas.The budget presentation at the Dec. 21 meeting achieved a goal set by Mayor Denis Perrault to have the financial details ready before the start of the new fiscal year on Jan. 1.

Below is a roundup of some key numbers and facts from the City of Swift Current’s 2018 budget document.
13.14 per cent – The size of the tax increase required to achieve the financial goals in the 2018 budget. A resident with a property assessed at a value of $280,000 will pay approximately $195 per year or $16.25 per month more in taxes.
5.47 per cent – The portion of the 2018 tax increase that is required due to a decrease in provincial funding.
6 per cent – The portion of the 2018 tax increase that is necessary to achieve the goals of the City’s financial strategy to reduce the use of debt financing for capital projects.
$61.8 million – The total amount of the City’s operating budget for 2018. This is the City’s largest operating budget since the start of its current five-year financial strategy in 2014.
$3.4 million – The amount that will be spend on general debt servicing in the 2018 budget.
$3.2 million – The amount allocated for police protection services in Swift Current.
$2.5 million – The cost of fire protection services in the 2018 operating budget. This includes emergency response services for fire, rescue, dangerous goods, and emergency medical assistance.
$17.6 million – The total amount to be spend on payroll costs during 2018. This number excludes allowances and other benefits, as well as travel and subsistence costs.
$14.3 million – The total amount allocated for capital projects in 2018. This is the City’s smallest capital budget since the start of its current five-year financial strategy in 2014. Capital investment in new infrastructure represents $7.97 million of this amount and the remaining $6.37 million will be used for renewal of existing infrastructure.
$4.4 million – The amount in the capital budget that will be spend on property development. This is the largest single expense in the capital budget, and includes $1 million for the completion of the current phase of the Saskatchewan Valley residential subdivision and $650,000 for services in the new South Munro Industrial Park.
$2.2 million – The total investment in the renewal and upgrading of the City’s vehicle fleet. This includes $250,000 to purchase a smaller grader for maintaining back lanes, and $260,000 to replace a loader.
$1.5 million – The allocation for transportation operations in the capital budget, which include funds for sidewalk and curbing rehabilitation ($570,000), paved street rehabilitation ($425,000), and downtown streetscape rehabilitation ($100,000).
$1 million – The total amount in the capital budget towards the City’s water and wastewater utility, including $100,000 for South Hill pressure zone improvements, $90,000 to realign sanitary manholes to prolong their lifespan, and $80,000 to rehabilitate fire hydrants throughout the city.
$807,777 – The amount in the capital budget for the City’s Light and Power utility. The largest portion ($541,000) will be spend on the ongoing project to convert from overhead to underground power lines in the downtown core.
$725,000 – The total allocation in the capital budget for the landfill and recycling utility. This includes $300,000 for a new scale house at the East landfill, $170,000 to upgrade a storm water/leachate pond at the East landfill, and $135,000 for slope grading at this landfill.
$450,000 – The cost to design a new facility to house fire and police services. This project will determine the site for the new protective services facility and have all the details in place that will allow the City to apply for any applicable infrastructure grants.
$225,000 – The cost to develop an additional parking lot with 31 new parking stalls next to the existing tennis courts and the new beach volleyball court, still under development, at Riverside Park on the city’s south side.
$120,000 – The cost to construct a new storage shed at the Chinook golf course for golf carts. Indoor storage of the vehicles and year-round charging of cart batteries will increase the lifespan of the golf carts.
Some capital projects during 2018 will be related to the City’s preparations to host the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games, including:
$119,000 – The cost to upgrade the tennis courts in Riverside Park for use during the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games. The tennis courts will be resurfaced and receive a new synthetic covering.
$67,000 – The cost to upgrade the washrooms at the Swift Current Museum and Visitor Centre in anticipation of an expected increase in visitors in 2019 during the Western Canada Summer Games.

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Matthew Liebenberg


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