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RM council ready to present 2021 financial plan

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The Rural Municipality of Dauphin’s mill rate will remain unchanged from last year at 20.794 mills.
RM council released its 2021 financial plan last week and, in putting the plan together, recognized the COVID-19 pandemic has created a number of unique challenges for its ratepayers, but ensured the level of service would remain consistent.
The RM of Dauphin will present its financial plan for the 2021 fiscal year at a public hearing, Apr. 7, by teleconference and video conference at 11 a.m.
Last year, council budgeted to receive revenues of $4,799,370.11, while budgeting for $4,799.371.52 in expenditures, a difference of $1.41.
The actual revenue was $5,019,839.93, while actual expenditures totalled $4,971,673.60, resulting in a surplus of $48,166.33.
This year, council is budgeting for $4,772,878.85 in revenue and the same for expenditures.
Continuing commitment and services allocated in the proposed financial plan include, but are not limited to:
• Emergency services (911);
• Fire protection through the Dauphin and Sifton Fire Departments;
• Waste disposal operations in Dauphin and Sifton;
• Recycling services program in Dauphin and Sifton;
• Noxious weed control;
• Veterinary services;
• Regional airport service;
• Inter-Mountain Watershed District;
• Recreation services; and
• Parkland Regional and Dauphin Library services.
Council is using $912,415 from reserves in 2021. The withdrawals are as follows:
• Equipment Replacement Reserve in the amount of $510,000 for the purchase of a tractor, motor grader, and a lease payment on an excavator;
• Bridge and Drainage Reserve in the amount of $200,000 for repairs to the Henderson Bridge and Ryz Crossing;
• Recreation Capital Reserve in the amount of $51,300 to repair the picnic shelter and build a non-modern accessible washroom at Stoney Point Beach; and
• Federal Gas Tax Funding Reserve in the amount of $151,115 for compliance upgrades to 12 railroad crossings and the construction of quarter-mile of new road.
The Public Works Department has several projects planned for the upcoming construction season. Plans are underway for 18 approach installations, two drainage maintenance projects, 11 through grade maintenance projects, one bridge repair, one crossing repair, as well as various other regular projects and maintenance works.
In 2020, the RM of Dauphin made the final payment on a debenture to pay for the Dauphin Recreation Services facility. Council is pleased that, with the final payment being made, the municipality no longer has any outstanding debt within the generating operating fund. The money that was previously put towards the debenture has now been allocated to the Recreation Reserve to fund future projects and capital requirements.
Another notable change to municipal operations this year is that the municipality plans to open and operate a waste transfer station in Sifton. With recent changes to environmental regulations, council felt it was not financially prudent to build new cells for household waste, and therefore is planning the adjustment.
While the municipality is still early on in this process, it is anticipated that the facility will continue to accept diversion items, such as mattresses, refridgerators and stoves.
Council announced the municipality will hire two summer students to complete an inventory and condition assessment of all municipal culverts and signs.
This project was funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and will allow the RM to continue the development of an Asset Management Plan (AMP), which will allow the municipality to develop a stronger understanding of the condition of significant assets and will improve budgeting and expense forecasting.
Council continues to appropriate prudently to specific reserves established in order to alleviate the financial impact yearly to ratepayers with the need of capital purchases. Currently itsestablished reserves include the Transportation Reserve, Utility Reserve, General Investment, Equipment Replacement, Bridge and Drainage, Economic Development, Recreation, Office Equipment, Shop and Office Building, Fire Equipment, Gravel and Land Acquisition, and Federal Gas Tax.
For information regarding emergency preparedness, building permits, waste disposal site hours, meeting minutes and agendas, visit the RM’s website at www.rmofdauphin.ca.
Updates are also provided on the RM’s Facebook page.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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