The effects of rising fuel costs can be exceptionally frustrating for rural municipalities.
Ray Orb, President of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) said the increased cost of fuel directly impacts municipalities' day-to-day operations as well as their budgets.
“It's really affecting the budget for the RMs because they would have budgeted for a certain price for fuel,” said Orb. “Most of the fuel they would use in an RM would be for motor graders and other kinds of maintenance equipment.”
He added most of the fuel used is diesel, which has seen a rapid increase in price.
“We’ve heard that there's another increase coming this week, so we're looking at close to $2.00 a gallon for a lot of the municipalities that are buying fuel. So, it's having a ripple effect across the industry and all of the 296 RMs in Saskatchewan.”
SARM is calling for support amid the rising fuel costs.
“I think that the federal government has some responsibility, and in particular the carbon tax,” said Orb. “We've asked the federal government to stop the increase on April 1, and we know it’s really hurting every industry in Saskatchewan, including RMs that have to maintain the roads and the bridges where most of our agricultural products go across, and also the province does have some responsibility as well because of taxes on fuel.”
The rising cost of fuel will be one of the many topics at the June Division Meetings which begin today. Division 1, which includes the Rural Municipality of Weyburn, has its meeting from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on June 8 in Kipling.