City to release budget February 26

City set to table 2018 budget

The Portage Citizen

Appearing as a delegation at the Feb. 12, 2018 Portage la Prairie City Council meeting, Shane Moffatt learned he will doing what every other citizen curious about the city’s 2018 budget must: wait until Feb. 26 when it is tabled.

Moffat was seeking assurances money earmarked last year from the accommodation tax to improve ball diamonds would be forthcoming in the 2018 city budget.

“On Feb. 26 the budget is coming down,” Portage la Prairie Mayor Irvine Ferris answered Moffet. “You and a lot of other groups in Portage will have answers after that.

During a post meeting interview Ferris said the cost of building a new causeway is included in the 2018 budget under the city’s debt management plan.

Will the causeway be funded in this year’s budget? “I believe so…it should be,” the mayor said.

“What I can tell you about the budget,” he adds, “for this council’s term, the last council and for the past seven or eight budgets, we’ve endeavoured to not necessarily not do increases, but certainly lower the amount it is increased every single.”

The city’s 2017 budget was held to a zero per cent increase.

“That’s a huge challenge and that was one of our goals again this year,” Ferris said.

The mayor and Finance Committee Chair Brent Budz both understand Portage la Prairie’s mill rate is the third highest in Manitoba.

“That’s not good and it is taking a concerted effort to move ourselves into a position that is more in the middle for competitive reasons. At the same time, you want to maintain services and often there are new challenges with infrastructure.”

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