Council approves 2019 city budget

 

Estevan city council has approved the city’s budget for 2019.

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As reported previously, the budget doesn’t include a property tax increase or a utility rate increase, the first time in many years that neither rate has gone up.

During their meeting on Monday night, Estevan city council discussed the budget and the feedback they have received.

“We did have some feedback, and we thank everybody who gave it to us,” said Mayor Roy Ludwig.

Several members of council and city manager Jeff Ward said they received comments from people who believe the budget should include a property tax increase.

“I had a few people mention that no tax increase seems like a poor choice, which is the opposite of what you might expect, but it’s nice to hear that people understand the value of them,” said Councillor Travis Frank.

Councillor Trevor Knibbs added that people were wondering if the city was going back to its old ways, which would lead to large property tax increases.

“Unless the government changes something that we don’t foresee, there shouldn’t be any more big ones,” said Knibbs.

Knibbs noted he didn’t receive any phone calls from people thanking council for not imposing a tax increase.

Ward also said he received a request from someone looking for clarification on what is happening at the police station. The city has allocated $500,000 towards the renovation of current building, rather than spending money on a new building.

A couple members of council also said they received comments about the decision to construct a splash park in Centennial Park. Some said they believe Estevan has enough splash parks, but Councillor Shelly Veroba pointed out that others would rather see the money put towards a new outdoor swimming pool.

This week’s edition of the Mercury will have more on this story. 

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