The City of Weyburn is delaying the issuance of assessment notices to property owners from April 1 to April 20, mostly due to the unknown nature of the school mill rates which are to be set by the provincial government and released in the budget today, Mar. 20.
Finance director Jon Michaud had to ask for a bylaw amendment from council at their Mar. 11 meeting to make the delay possible.
While Premier Brad Wall told the SARM convention they would try and be “revenue neutral” with the school mill rates, the actual mill rates won’t be known until the budget is released.
According to Michaud, the provincial mill rates “will have HUGE consequences on our ratepayers and their ‘end tax notice’. Once we receive the school mill rates we will present council with reports and data at the Mar. 25th meeting.”
Extending the assessment notices to Apr. 20 will give city officials and council time to debate how to approach the situation, said Michaud, with the option of two things.
One, the city could send out the assessment notice with the tax dollar implications, depending on where the city is at with their budget, or two, they could send out the official tax notice with the assessment notice, again depending on the city’s budget process.
The overall reason for the delay, council was told, is this is a major revaluation year by SAMA (Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency); Michaud said he and his staff will be putting together explanatory information and calculations for the Mar. 25 council meeting to explain how all of this is going to affect the taxpayer.
Development is continuing on in the City of Weyburn, with the release of development permit numbers, and approval of the first development in “The Creeks” area on the city’s east side.
In terms of building permits, the city’s Building Department issued three in February, to bring the year-to-date to 12 permits worth $9,011,250, compared to a year ago when there was 12 permits issued worth $2,879,000.
The main difference in the dollar value this year, council was told, was a permit worth $4.6 million for a new hotel, plus for two new homes, worth $515,250.
Of the permits so far, there are four new single family dwellings created worth $1,356,250.
In the meantime, council gave first reading to a zoning bylaw amendment to facilitate subdivision approval and development of a portion of Phase 2A of The Creeks.
The bylaw will rezone 2.73 acres from Urban Holdings to Residential Detached District to allow for the development of 10 new residential properties.
The city will be taking part in the Communities in Bloom program this year, but the local committee has not yet decided if they are entering competitively, Coun. Laura Morrissette reported to council.
The committee has until Apr. 15 to decide, as this is the deadline to enter competitively.
One of the factors, said Coun. Morrissette, is that River Park is still in need of a lot of work due to the lingering effects of flooding in 2011, plus from whatever might come up this spring.
She said they will be promoting the cleanliness of the city to residents, including urging volunteers to adopt a section of the Tatagwa Parkway to clean up. The city also wants to expand the community garden spaces available beside Signal Hill; anyone interested in renting one of these garden spots can contact the Parks department.