Slight tax increase among topics discussed during April 24th county meeting

Infrastructure heavy budget will see work on several County bridges

By Kevin J Sabo

For the Advance

Ratepayers in Paintearth County will be paying a bit more in tax for 2019.

With the infrastructure heavy budget that was approved several weeks ago, the County is raising the mill-rate by 2 per cent to offset costs.

The County’s total estimated budget for 2019 will be $16.9 million and revenue sources outside of taxation are estimated to be $2.7 million.

The just over $14.2 million extra will come from general municipal tax revenue.

The infrastructure heavy budget will see the bridge on Lake Thelma Road, the Guse Bridge, and the Rodvang Bridge see repair work totalling $340,000.

The Weber Bridge is also going to tender as it is ending its service life, and will need to be redesigned and rebuilt at the estimated cost of $1.2 million, and to be completed by the end of 2020.

Another big impact on the County’s 2019 budget is the purchase of heavy equipment.

Under current County policy, equipment such as graders and pickups are replaced around every five years because after that maintenance costs tend to climb quickly.

Old equipment is generally sold at auction to offset cost of new equipment. The 2019 budget has the County purchasing 2 new Caterpillar 160 M3 AWD Graders, and a new 950M Wheel Loader for the cost of $1.5 million, $30,000 under budget.

In addition to the new heavy equipment, two Degelman Sidearms and REV1500 mowers, two new pick-ups for the County and a new pick-up for the Ag Services board are all being purchased this year.

Other highlights of the April 24th Council meeting:

• County administration is selling a seldom used low kilometer Chevrolet Impala at auction.

• Council has approved administration to begin researching information about costs to possibly hold a community engagement event alongside the June ratepayer barbecue being hosted at Huber dam. Beginning the community engagement will be on the County strat-plan goals.

• Council has approved the administration recommendation to increase travel allowance from $0.50/km to $0.55/km. The rate has not increased since 2008.

• Council has given final approval on the 2019 Regional Emergency Management Training Day being held in Castor on May 22nd, at an approximate cost of $4,000.

• Three public tenders were offered for the Lauderdale School property. The winning bid went to Jake Daniells for a total sum of $7,600.

In his tender offer, he is planning to build a new residence and a shop on the property.

• Council has directed County administration to investigate the possibility of building a tank loading site using an existing well at SE-3-40-14-W4.

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