The Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual State Of The City breakfast this past Tuesday as Mayor Denis Perrault outlined the budget for 2017. It is the earliest the budget has been announced in Swift Current's history. Mayor Perrault feels that the budget should start as close to the beginning of the year as possible. His future goal is to have the budget set and rolled out in January for future years.
Audience members were given a full presentation on how the budget was arrived at and the philosophies that shaped the decision-making process. Mayor Perrault outlined the critical needs of the City with the understanding that Capital items will be worked at a bit each year rather than trying to get everything done at once and incurring more debt.
The South Railway Street Bridge is in need of repair. The expansion joints are out of alignments and the support braces are deteriorating as seen in the picture below. The cost of repair will be $600,000
(All photos provided by the City of Swift Current)
The Fairview Arena Ice Plant is needing some repairs as the ammonia and brine are leaking out and causing corrosion issues. The Cost of this will be $120,000
Herbert Street, from 3rd Ave NE to the creek, is in need of some serious repair. The infrastructure below grown is falling apart. The piping used for storm sewer water is the old steel pipe that rusts over time. The bottom portion is no longer there in some places, which allows for ground erosion. There is a high chance that the road could give way after a hard rain. Replacing this piping now would prevent serious conditions from forming and keep the cost of repair down as the street also has underground electrical and gas lines running through it from Sask Power and Sask Energy. The cost of the project is estimated at $3 Million. This will only be done this year if the federal funding project is approved.
With the improvements done to the North Service Road intersection, the City is now looking at the light standards. The current ones are too short and the left hand turning signal for the West bound lane is not at the optimal location. The cost of the project will be $150,000.
The iPlex Ice surface has already been approved in Last year's budget and will be worked on as soon as the Broncos finish their season. The floor has started to heave and this is causing a leaching of ammonia and brine to the ice surface causing the discolouration and potential failure of the ice condition. The cost of this project was approved at $2.5 Million.
The effect of these projects and general operations of the city means a resident with a home valued at $250,000 will see the following:
After the presentation, Clayton Wicks Executive Director for the Swift Current Chamber of Commerce, explains his thoughts on the presentation. "I think it was awesome, we had more participation than they have had in the past." He said. "We are up over 50% from numbers that actually attended, it's great that people come out, it shows that they actually care." Wicks added, "I think it went as good as it can."
When asked about the content of the presentation, "Nobody likes and increase let's be fair, but if we want to keep things the way we have them then we have to make sure we maintain them." Wicks added. "If you compare it to your car, you put nothing into your car and do it for 10 years, in the 10 th year you're going to pay heavy."