Moosomin council keeps taxes steady

May 18, 2023, 2:58 pm
Kevin Weedmark

Moosomin at sunrise.

The town of Moosomin is keeping its mill rate and its minimum tax unchanged this year.

Council passed the 2023 budget Wednesday, and voted to keep the Municipal Mill Rate the same as in 2022 at 12.5 Mills, and the Minimum Tax on Residential Improvements the same at $750.

“We went into it this year trying to keep taxes the same,” Mayor Larry Tomlinson said. “We wanted to keep it steady this year. The price of everything is going up, but we wanted to hold the taxes,” he said. “We took $500,000 of pavement out of this year’s budget to next year. Next year we’ll probably end up doing $1 million worth of paving, so we saved a little bit there.

“It was very hard to get everything into the budget and keep the taxes down. We struggled with it, and had quite a few meetings before we finally got it ready to present to council.

“Things will start moving on the water treatment plant, and we want to be able to cover any expenses with that, and keep moving forward with it. The tender has been awarded for the water line from the lake, and there could be some unexpected expenses there.”

Revenue Sharing will see an increase from $584,255 in 2022 to $671,941 in 2023, which is largely due to StatsCanada revising the 2021 population of the town from $2,657 to $2,774.

“That made quite a difference,” Tomlinson said. “That’s how we were able to find $75,000 for sidewalks. We’ve got a lot of things to do, we’ve got storm sewers to put in Ogilvie that will cost a lot of money. It’s infrastructure—it never ends. Every town has their challenges, but with us growing the way we are it’s probably harder for us to make things work for infrastructure, and you’ve got to keep ahead of it or you’re not going to grow.”

The Town of Moosomin is set to again receive $188,169 in gas tax funding from the Canada Community Building Fund.

The Town of Moosomin, RM of Moosomin, and Community Builders Alliance are continuing a three way partnership for funding of Economic Development. A full-time Economic Development Officer, Casey McCormac, is in place and the entire economic development costs are shared with each party paying one-third of expenses.

This is the second year where the Town of Moosomin, the RM of Moosomin No. 121, and CBA (Community Builder’s Alliance) cost shared Economic Development expenses at one-third share, with the Town also funding a government relations consultant in same three way partnership, for $20,000 a year for the three years of 2022/2023/2024.

The town will contribute $10,000 to a Saskatchewan Highways engineering study for a Highway 8 bypass on the west side of Moosomin which has been on the books since 2020 but is yet to be completed.

In Public Works expenditures, the town will continue with the pavement crack/slurry sealing program and has again budgeted $40,000 for this street maintenance. Plans are to hold off on any paving for 2023, and transfer $500,000 to reserve to be added to next year’s budget for paving and curb/gutter projects.

However, $75,000 is being allocated to sidewalk repair/rehab. Age Friendly Moosomin has identified some priority areas for sidewalk work.

The town also took delivery in November 2022 of a new 2022 CAT Grader, and are leasing the machine for a five-year period, at a cost of $43,000 per year.

The town will be invoiced an estimated $258,000 for the RCMP and $13,000 for Commissionaires to provide bylaw enforcement services.

Landfill expenses in 2023 include $55,000 for annual sampling and reporting of groundwater monitoring wells (piezometers), twice per year, and $104,000 for a decommission and reclamation engineering plan for the landfill.

The town will also be purchasing two pieces of equipment coming off lease in November 2023:
1) 2018 John Deere 700K Dozer for $103,000
2) 2015 Bomag Packer for $45,500

In the Recreation Department, many donations have been received and will complete the following projects:
Bradley Park:
• Golf World $15,000
• REMAX Court furniture $5,000
• Sharpe’s Field $1,000
• Pharmasave Field $1,000
• Tree Purchases $5,000
• Purchase of Sports Equipment $5,000
• Electrical Upgrades at Rodeo Grounds $15,000
Mike Schwean Arena:
• New Compressor System $40,000
• Accessibility Lift from Bleachers to ice Surface $30,000
• Virtual Trophy Case $ 10,000
Convention Centre:
• Accessibility Lift from Floor to stage $35,000
• Purchase of Pickle Ball Equipment $5,000
• Addition of Accu Lighting $2,500

• New computers in simulator stations
In the Utilities portion of the budget, the Public Works Department have many projects to complete including:
1) Poplar Street watermain extension/loop from Windover Ave. to Broadway Ave.
2) Lake Avenue watermain extension/loop from Saunders Rd. to Main Street
3) South Front Street watermain extension/loop from Ogilvie St. to Albemi St. for two new apartment complexes
4) Install new storm sewer on Ogilvie Street
The following projects are planned for 2023:
1) Repair of leaking cell at the Lagoon $525,000
2) Install new water line under CPR Track at Moose Street crossing $150,000
3) Engineer to review elevations and determine how to alleviate storm water drainage problems on west side of Cook Rd.
4) Water Treatment Plant upgrades will start in 2023. Firstly with installation of new raw water line from the two water wells on the north side of Moosomin Lake to the water tower, and secondly with expansion of the Water Treatment Plant building and installation of the new equipment. It is expected that this project will start in the summer of 2023 and be completely finished in early 2025. This project is estimated at $13,730,475, with the town receiving Federal and Provincial funding of 73.33% under the ICIP (Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan), with the town taking out a $3.5 million loan for the municipal share of this project.

Tax discounts for payment of current municipal taxes will be offered as follows:
• 5% discount will remain for payment of current municipal taxes on or before September 3, 2023
• Mill rate factors are unchanged.
Mill rates have had their ups and downs in Mooosomin since 2010:
• In 2010 the mill rate increased from 20.0 to 21.0 mills.
• In 2011 the mill rate remained at 21.0 mills.
• In 2012 the mill rate remained at 21.0 mills.
• In 2013 due to assessment revaluation, the mill rate was reduced from 21.0 to 12.5 mills
• In 2014 the mill rate remained at 12.5 mills
• In 2015 the mill rate was increase to 14.5 mills (which was a 16% increase), and began applying a $250 Minimum Tax on Residential Improvements
• In 2016 the mill rate increased to 15.5 mills, and the Minimum Tax on Residential Improvements increased from $250 to $400.
• In 2017 due to assessment revaluation, the mill rate was reduced to 11.5 mills, and the Minimum Tax on Residential Improvements was increased from $400 to $500.
• In 2018 the Mill Rate of 11.5 stayed same, and Minimum Tax on Residential Improvements remained at $500.
• In 2019 the Mill Rate increased to 12.5 mills, and Minimum Tax on Residential Improvements increased to $750.
• In 2020 the Mill Rate was reduced from 12.5 mills to 12.0 mills due to downturn in economy due to Covid-19
• In 2021 due to assessment revaluation the mill rate was reduced from 12.0 mills to 11.5 mills, and Minimum Tax on Residential Improvements remained at $750.
• In 2022 the Mill Rate was increased from 11.5 mills to 12.5 mills
• This year it will remain at 12.5 mills.