Original Published 19:10 Apr 12, 2022
By Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Prioritizing capital projects that meet the needs of the community while managing costs has been the focus of budget meetings over the past number of months at the Resort Village of Candle Lake (RVCL).
The Resort Village Council approved its 2022 Budget on April 8. The budget includes a three per cent increase in total property tax revenue. The mill rate will increase from 3.0 to 3.1 mills for an annual revenue increase of $43,260.
In a news release, Mayor Terry Kostyna said council and administration were able to balance the budget without burdening taxpayers.
“I was very happy with the process and how we got there. It has been an unusual year and a half for the Resort Village of Candle Lake. We are getting things organized we have got a pretty new, significant, 80 per cent of our management team is new within the last 12 weeks,” Kostyna said.
“We have a got a pretty new team, 80 per cent of our management team is new within the last 12 weeks. To put this together with the help of the existing staff that were already there I’m very happy.”
Kostyna said several factors led to the need for more property tax revenue. Among them were increases to the cost of the Resort Village contract with the RCMP, the hiring of an additional seasonal Bylaw Officer, and the overall rising costs of goods and services.
In 2022, the RVCL will invest just under $2 million in capital projects including Commence Work on Landfill Cell Decommissioning, East Lagoon Prefeasibility/Preliminary Design, New Garbage Truck, New CSO Patrol Vehicle, Greenspace Master Plan, Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaw Renew, Fire Department Facility Study, Walking Trail on Bereskin/Marina Drive to Main Street, New Website and Proposed Market Square.
Kostyna said they were committed to providing service to residents, seasonal residents and visitors, to maintaining and improving our existing infrastructure, and to undertaking new projects that will benefit the community in the long-term.
He added that the new staff is committed to learning about the community and they are confident in achieving their goal of developing a realistic, well-costed five-year capital plan for the Resort Village.
“We have four new management people, well one’s acquainted with Candle Lake and has a cottage there, but the other three are new and they haven’t even got to enjoy Candle Lake in the summer yet. We are hoping that by August they will. We are not sure about June and July. We have so much snow at Candle Lake, you have no idea,” he said.
Kostyna said that they need their new people in place to learn.
“We have had a very high level estimate of what we need in terms of some now identified projects in terms of lagoons and infrastructure,” he explained. “We will come to learn more I am sure, but we have to give this year for our new team to better define that for the upcoming years so we will have a better, more solid longterm plan.
“We have identified the stuff. We just have to carefully allocate future funding,”
Kostyna said that they are grateful to our administration and senior levels of government who have enabled the Resort Village to secure more than $500,000 in grants to cover some of the costs of these projects.
According to the release the average homeowner will see an estimated increase to their municipal property taxes of approximately $55 per year and the average commercial property owner will see an increase of approximately $75 per year.
More details on the 2022 Budget, including the budget planning process can be found at Candlelake.ca.
“Speaking on behalf of council we are grateful for our existing staff being able to step up and fill in gaps for people that were brand new and hadn’t even met each other yet and to get this gone. We have got work to do but we have got a good solid team in place to do that,” Kostyna said.
This item reprinted with permission from Prince Albert Daily Herald, Prince Albert, Saskatchwan