There were few more faces in the spectator seats during last night's regular meeting of Weyburn City Council. This is likely due to the discussions about the 2023 preliminary Municipal Budget, which generated concerns from the community.
In fact, the feedback generated since the October 24th meeting of Council included 88 responses overall, 41 of which were in support of a tax freeze or a lower property tax increase.
The Weyburn Youth Council gave feedback during the meeting, saying young people especially want to see improvements to the roads and infrastructure.
While no official budget approval will made until likely the December 12th meeting, City Councillor Laura Morrissette said they value the input from Weyburn residents, they do not take this process lightly, and she reminded that the City Councillors and staff are taxpayers, too.
“This year, one of the biggest things is we're taking the budget process a little bit longer, and more online, so that people can have their say,” she noted.
She said this is the most transparent the City has been about the budget process in her experience.
“We're letting the public say what they want to say, and have their input and let us know what their priorities are, so and that really helps in our decision-making.”
Some of the feedback received since the first presentation was positive.
“That's something that we really appreciate because you can only do so much with negative responses, but the constructive criticism really helps you know people see that we're doing our best to try and keep the roadways clean and keep all of the equipment up to date,” she explained. “That costs money, and we're doing our best.”
“We've got to walk that fine line between keeping things working and maintaining what we've got but not taxing people to the point where they can't live in the City of Weyburn.”
She said next they'll be taking the time to talk with the City's administration.
“Maybe give them some guidelines as to what we'd like to see as Council, and then we'd like to come back with a firm decision before the end of the year,” she noted.
Having a budget approval before the new year helps the various City departments to begin their purchasing processes in January rather than having to wait until spring, as has been the case in the past.
Read the full agenda including community feed back HERE.