Weyburn City Council holds its first meeting of the new year Monday night, and it will be a very busy agenda, with the draft of the 2018 budget being one of the items to be discussed. Council will also look at the development levy bylaw, as well as the council procedures bylaw, with both expected to receive the third and final reading. Council will also review some proposed changes to the bi-weekly garbage collection, thanks to some issues which were raised by the public after it was announced later last year.
The budget will be the highlight of discussion for many, as the public anxiously awaits to find out if they will be seeing an increase in their tax bill this year, and how much it will be. The province has reduced the amount of funding municipalities receive, which has the city looking for ways to mitigate the reduction.
The draft also outlines some of the short-term operating and capital priorities of the city for the coming year. The plans to maintain service levels for 2018, with the addition of a pavement rehabilitation program, as well as an increase in swimming lessons. The design of the Recreation and Cultural Centre is expected to be completed, with the construction beginning.
Other priorities highlighted in the budget include a downtown streetlight replacement, exploring a regional transportation project with the provincial Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure and R.M. of Weyburn, improving customer service and security at City Hall, and renewing the signs welcoming people to the city of Weyburn.
While none of the numbers have been finalized at this point, there will more than likely be a tax increase on the year. The numbers released with the draft budget indicate it could be in the range of three to five percent.
The development levy bylaw, which has been oft-discussed in recent weeks, will once again be before the council. The third and final reading is expected, with the vote on the bylaw to be held.
Another bylaw which has been generating conversation has been the Council Procedures Bylaw. It will be receiving its third reading and vote as well.
The changes being proposed by the administration for the bi-weekly collection of garbage will see families with seven members or more being eligible for an additional garbage bin for collection, as there were issues raised by members of the public about the change to the bi-weekly collection this winter.
A delegation from the Weyburn Golf Club will make a presentation to council, and reports will be tabled about the floor at the Firehall, the rates and usage of water in the city, and from the planning and development department.
The meeting starts at 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. We will have full coverage of the meeting, on-air and online, Tuesday morning.