The City of Meadow Lake has adopted its 2019 capital and operating budgets, the highlights of which include a 2.4 per cent tax hike to reflect the rate of inflation and ensure the maximum amount for paving work can be done in 2019.
The full effect of the increase on property owners will not be known until the tax rate is set in the spring of 2019.
Water and sewer rates will also increase on Jan. 1, 2019. The rate restructuring program started in 2015 and is working toward making water and sewer utilities self-sufficient — not subsidized by the general tax base — and to ensure rates are based on consumption, so those who use the service pay for it.
Both the operating and capital budgets address short and long-term maintenance and replacement of infrastructure. Public feedback from a budget survey earlier in the year, which showed that infrastructure, community safety and maintaining recreation facilities were the main concerns of city residents.
The 2019 operating budget includes adjustments to a number of expense accounts for greater accuracy in financial reporting. Among the budget includes money to expand recreation services offered by the city, enhancing public spaces by installing recycling collection bin in parks and downtown and continued funding for the emergency plan to remain prepared for the future.
The capital budget includes over $4.5 million of investment. Major projects funded include $2 million to replace the lift station on Third St. E to allow for future delivery of full sewer services to more areas and a significant bump in funding for pavement improvements to $1.7 million. Upgrades to the Civic Centre sound system were also funded to the tune of just under $12,000 and over $94,000 has been set aside to repair the arena roof.
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