City of Weyburn to reduce hospital levy for 2020

The City of Weyburn will be reducing the hospital levy for 2020, as the accumulated amount paid by taxpayers approaches the total commitment made for a new hospital.

City council set the levy at $140 per year per residential dwelling in 2012, and this was supposed to take 10 years to reach the total committed amount of $6 million for a new hospital.

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Laura Missal, the director of finance, said that by the end of 2019, the hospital levy balance will be $5,551,508, which includes the levy amount of 45,305,369 and interest of $246,139.

She proposed that if the levy were reduced from $140 to $40 per residence, the balance of the levy will then reach $5,976,670, including interest, and any additional interest earnings should put that total over the $6 million mark in by 2021.

“I thank the citizens of this city, who have made this commitment for a new hospital,” said Coun. Dick Michel. “We still don’t know where or when it will go, but the community has gotten together and did their due diligence. This is a good step going forward.”

Coun. Winston Bailey said at the time the levy was set, some councillors felt this was putting a big burden on the taxpayers, but the end result has been the city has been able to meet their commitment.

“I too thank citizens for helping us reach that total. We’re not the No. 1 community on the prairies for no reason, and this is one of the reasons,” he said.

The levy amount will actually be set by a motion when council sets their mill rate for the 2020 taxation year.

• In other council business, councillors heard information about a new fleet storage facility which will replace the historic round house at the Public Works yard.

The City put out a request for proposals, and received 10 proposals in reply, with one removed as it came in too late.

Of the nine proposals, the recommendation was to go with McGinn Engineering to complete the design of the proposed facility at a cost of $199,950. This wasn’t the lowest bid, but the bids were all rated by the city administration and evaluated on a scoring system, including experience, team, methodology, value add and total cost.

The budget set by the city for this project was $1.25 million for consultation services, design and early construction, so this firm’s proposal will save the city about $120,050 from the original estimate. The winning firm is to have all design documents completed by the end of December to allow construction to go ahead in 2020 if council chooses to proceed.

• Residents of Weyburn and the surrounding area are invited to take in a come-and-go information session on Tuesday, Oct. 29 to discuss options and offer feedback on corridor improvement for Highways 6 and 39, as part of the Weyburn Region Transportation Study.

The session will be held upstairs at the Weyburn Curling Rink from 4 to 7 p.m., and transportation engineers from the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure will be present, along with representatives from SNC Lavalin, Stantec and WSP to listen to comments and answer any questions people might have.

The region transportation study is being conducted to develop a road network plan that can safely handle the traffic that will be generated by regional growth and development.