The Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie council meeting this week laid out its financial plan for 2022 and it includes an extremely minimal increase in the rate per mile and a healthy decrease in debt.
CAO Nettie Neudorf explains how they relate to the province with the plan.
“The financial plan is a legislative requirement that we must adhere to,” says Neudorf. “Municipalities are required to hold a public hearing regarding the budget and it is presented in the same format that must be submitted to the province. This document is called the financial plan and must go through a public hearing. So , the Rural Municipality of Portage announced its budget earlier in the year, and then we formatted it in the report to be submitted to the province.”
She notes that they announced the same information earlier this year.
“The RM of Portage is increasing taxes by 0.1% to generate a rate 0.1 mill more than last year,” continues Neudorf. “So this year the mill rate will be 8.19 mills compared to last year’s 8.18 mills.”
Neudorf is pleased to note that outstanding debt is down slightly from $4 million to $3.4 million.
“We remain clearly below the debt capacity within which the province imposes on the municipalities”, specifies Neudorf. “We’ve always been less than that, and we look forward to seeing the debt go down over time. Most of that debt is generated by those who have signed up for water connections and pay it back on time. So it’s because of the water signature that a lot of that debt is there.”
She adds that the MR has remained active in its work with many projects underway, including additional work at the Poplar Bluff Industrial Park.
“The Regional Reservoir is the biggest capital project this year and it involves working with the City and Borough of North Norfolk,” Neudorf said. “This will not only benefit our region here, but also communities beyond our region. We are therefore delighted to see this project come to fruition. The province is contributing $8 million to the project. That’s an estimated total of just over $16 million. . And it’s going to be tendered soon, and it’s definitely going to be a huge boom for our region in terms of service and providing a more assured water supply in our region and beyond.
Neudorf adds that there is a timetable set for work to progress on the reservoir, but work will begin this year and be completed next year.
“We continue to affirm that our mission has now been formulated in a statement for our municipality, and it is the first that has materialized for our municipality in a formal way,” notes Neudorf. “Our budget corresponds to that. And that is to provide exceptional municipal services to our residents while pursuing and attracting investments that improve our agriculture and support our industry. Our budget is in line with our mission and we are excited about what is happening this year. In any given month, we spend funds on many other ongoing projects that we hope to be able to make announcements later in the year that are focused on the economy.”