Taxes to rise in R.M. of Stanley

R.M. of Stanley Reeve Morris Olafson.

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Municipal taxes in the R.M. of Stanley will rise about 2.3 per cent, according to the 2019 Financial Plan given first reading Jan. 24.
The public hearing did not attract a single R.M. resident as council explained the budget. The numbers do not include the effects school division taxes will have.
Described as a “holding the course” budget, total operational spending will increase by 5.15 per cent, to $7.15 million.
That means the general mill rate will rise by 0.154 to 8.339.
The tax impact will be felt in all types of land.
• 80 acres of cultivated land valued at $751,500 will see their taxes rise by $42 to $1,843.
• 160 acres of bush & hay land valued at $252,100 would see their taxes rise by $14 to $618.
• a home valued at $289,900 would see their taxes rise by $28 to $1,231.
• a home valued at $119,800 would see their taxes rise by $12 to $509.
• a commercial property valued at $538,500 would see their taxes rise by $75 to $3,302.
“I’m very happy the way the budget turned out,” Reeve Morris Olafson said.
Olafson said they did have some challenges including filling the void left by the provincial government who changed the infrastructure funding which cut off about $250,000 in expected funding annually.
“We had to make it up last year… now we won’t have it for this year,” Olafson said, noting that’s $500,000 in funds that are lost.
Currently transportation accounts for the lions share of the budget, coming in at 41 per cent. This year an extra $121,947 was placed in that budget which totals almost $2.9 million. Close to $100,000 of that increase is simply for the necessary gravel.
Property taxes pays for 80 per cent of the budget with the remaining 20 per cent (about $1.46 million) coming in as grants or fees for service.
Keeping debt low is important to the R.M. Currently they owe just over $4.2 million. Half of that is debt that actually belongs to residents who are paying for things like pavement levies over a period of time. That means about $2.1 million is outstanding on items like the administration office, corridor sewer, Thornhill water and aggregate.
The total allowable debt is seven per cent of assessment or $39.4 million.
“We can borrow up to $40 million if we wanted to,” Olafson said. “And if we did, that would be the dumbest thing we ever did. If you keep that debt ratio way down, you’re in good shape.”
The R.M. has seen significant growth. Their assessment has risen from $397.8 million in 2014 to $564.2 million in 2019. Their budget has grown from $6.3 million in 2014 to $7.2 million in 2019.
The R.M. will see more investment in 2019. Projects in the works include:
• Massey Water Pipeline expansion
• Asset management planning
• Drainage, dust proofing, public works equipment renewal, and road construction continuing
• Regional Wastewater Planning
• Blumenfeld Path Overlay
• Frost Boil remediation
The R.M. of Stanley also supports a variety of causes through grants and contributions:
• $1,500 – Collegiate Bursaries
• $5,000 – Boundary Trails Health Care Foundation
• $2,500 – Winkler Family Resource Centre
• $1,000 – Justice Committee
• $35,077 – Dr. C.W. Wiebe Medical Clinic Operating Grant
• $31,000 – Agassiz Medical Center Operating Grant
• $5,400 – Gateway Resources Operating Grant
• $1,000 – Pembina Valley Humane Society
• $10,920 – Morden Veterinary Clinic
• $42,500 – Pembina Valley Conservation District
• $5,000 – Manitoba Tourism
• $10,000 – Village Rink Upgrades
• $16,500 – Community Centres & Rinks
• $9,969 – Pembina Threshermen’s Museum
• $500 – Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre
• $91,933 – South Central Regional Library
• $5,000 – Community Center play structure upgrades.

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