The City of Swift Current released the municipal budget for 2024 today, with a breakdown of some of the more key factors.
The budget rings in the new year at a total of $84.7 million. Of that amount, $73 million will be secured for Operating and Utility Expenses, while $11.7 million has been set for Capital Expenditures.
For the taxpayer, they can expect a 3.24 per cent property tax increase in 2024. This will translate to roughly $648,000 more tax dollars than last year for the City to utilize. This breaks down to close to $5 more a month being collected from property owners.
Presenting the budget at City Hall was Swift Current Mayor, Al Bridal.
"I am very proud of the accomplishments of this council toward that goal of good stewardship," said Bridal. "I believe the 2024 budget is a good example of doing what is right by the citizens who have entrusted us with their tax dollars."
In the larger budget, some items accounted for including a replacement firetruck for the Swift Current Fire Department. The old, 2002 model has reached the end of its serviceable life span and must be replaced. For this, the City has set aside $1.3 million for the purchase of a new model. It is expected to arrive sometime in 2025.
"[The money for the purchase] is allocated from existing funds that are already in the equipment reserve for that purchase," added Bridal.
Other big cost items include money set aside for sidewalk repairs, with $350,000 going toward the rehabilitation of the downtown area's walkways.
Another is the continued expansion of the Chinook Pathway, under the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 4, connecting to the residential areas by the Cypress Regional Hospital.
"Construction of the pathway under the Trans-Canada Highway and under the #4 Highway bridges required an additional $160,000 from within this budget," said Bridal. "Being able to walk, bike, or wheel between services like healthcare facilities and schools, or to see friends, without crossing a major highway is an undeniable improvement in our way of life."
Bridal made a special note that in the Capitol Budget of $11.7 million, $2.3 million is contingent on grant approvals.
"$2.3 million of that amount is for projects that will only happen if we get grants," clarrified Bridal. "Then we will have to take some of our own money, so $2.3 million of the $11.7 million is only going to help if the grant money comes through."