News Local

Stanley releases budget

Greg Vandermeulen


A 2.17 per cent budget increase will result in lower taxes for residences and higher taxes for farmland in the R.M. of Stanley.
Council gave first reading to the $6.8 million budget (up from $6.65 million last year) on Jan. 25.
Reeve Morris Olafson said he thinks they did well in planning this year’s budget.
“I was very pleased with the way things turned out,” he said. “You try and save money where you can but you spend money where you have to.”
Continued growth has led to some of the increased spending according to Olafson, who described the budget as “prudent”.
“I think we spent the money in the proper places,” he said.
Residential properties will get a break simply because assessments haven’t increased as fast as farmland which will now bear a bigger burden of municipal taxes.
A home assessed at $209,500 in 2017 will only see an assessment increase of one per cent, to $210,900. That will result in their municipal tax dropping from $950 to $875, a reduction of $75.
A home assessed at $279,500 in 2017 will see a four per cent assessment increase to a value of $289,900. Their taxes will drop from $1,267 to $1,203 a savings of $64.
Farmers will be paying more. Land valued at $633,100 in 2017 saw a 19 per cent assessment increase which means it’s worth $751,500 in 2018. That means they’ll pay $1,801 in municipal tax, an increase of $143.
Land assessed at $226,400 in 2017 saw an 11 per cent assessment increase in 2018 to $252,100. That scenario would see a municipal tax increase of $11 to $604.
The municipal mil rate will decrease from 10.074 to 9.218.
Eighty per cent or $5.47 million of the R.M. of Stanley’s budget is collected through property tax. Other revenues such as grants and user fees make up the remaining 20 per cent, or $1.34 million.
The budget also outlines completed projects from 2017.
They include six km of roads paved in Reinfeld, Schanzenfeld and Chortiz, 800 metres of culvert installed, 5 km of pathway re-paved or treated, 57,000 cubic yards of gravel applied, 5,800 grader hours maintaining 500 miles of gravel roads, 18 km of drainage completed, 900 miles of ditches mowed, 41.5 miles of road dust proofed, 1.4 km of new main water line installed, 27 new water connections and 100 road side hazard markers installed.
This year’s budget will support many of the same things as well as: regional wastewater systems, sewer & water investments in the Stanley Corridor, village pavement program in Schanzenfeld, road asphalt overlays in Hochfeld, pathway asphalt overlays in Reinfeld, asset management planning, zoning bylaw and corridor plan, computer hardware/software upgrades, Reinland Drain restoration, and improving field access roads.
The R.M. of Stanley also supports many local organizations. The 2018 contributions include:
• $78,479 South Central Regional Library
• $42,500 Pembina Valley Conservation District
• $35,077 Dr. C.W. Wiebe Medical Clinic Operating Grant
• $16,500 Community Centres and Rinks
• $15,000 Agassiz Medical Center Operating Grant
• $10,811 Morden Veterinary Clinic
• $9,969 Pembina Threshermen’s Museum
• $5,000 Winkler Community Foundation
• $5,000 Community Centre play structure upgrades
• $4,860 Gateway Resources Operating Grant
• $4,000 Boundary Trail Health Care Foundation
• $2,500 Winkler Family Resource Centre
• $1,000 Collegiate Bursaries
• $1,000 Justice Committee
• $1,000 Pembina Valley Humane Society
• $500 Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre