For nearly everyone, the sharp increases in the price of gasoline have had an impact on budgets, whether for a household, a business or a government. The City of Weyburn is no exception.
When the budget for the year was done up, no one was expecting gas prices to be approaching $2 a litre, which is just shy of where they are now here in Weyburn.
“We continue to monitor the increase in gas costs,” explained Mathew Warren, the City Manager. “For us, it’s a budgetary item and we continue to monitor that throughout the year, and as we see it increasing it's something we have to identify for next year’s budget as the increased costs continue to happen.”
The increases don’t just impact the cost to keep the city’s fleet of vehicles on the road. Often times, when contractors bid on tenders for infrastructure work, they factor their fuel costs into the tender price. Now, those bids are seeing a higher and higher dollar amount attached to them, which in some instances could be more than what was originally budgeted by the City staff.
“Our directors, our managers who work directly with those contractors have done a really good job of managing those projects, making sure it stays within our budget, or if it doesn’t, make sure that we provide that proper information out to both council and the public about any changes within that,” Warren added.
The City of Weyburn isn’t the only municipality feeling the pinch. It is something that is affecting every municipality across the country. This has groups such as the Saskatchewan Urban Municipality Association working to get the province to do something to alleviate the pinch.
“There’s a lot of good work happening through SUMA, through the Mayors’ Caucus and I know Mayor Roy has been vocal within those meetings about support and some lobbying that can happen through SUMA,” Warren stated.
With the impact on the budget, the City is working to make sure that there is no impact on the services provided by the City of Weyburn. This could mean taking a hit now and then looking to the province to see what they can do to help cover the shortfall going forward.