Upon the release of the Provincial Budget yesterday, Reeve for the R.M. of Weyburn, Norm McFadden, said the Municipal Revenue Sharing is the most important factor concerning the rural municipality.

"The government announced a bit of it last week at the SARM Convention, and probably the biggest thing that pertains to us is an increase in the municipal revenue sharing. 

This year's MRS is roughly 14 percent.

"Any extra money is greatly appreciated. At the same time, likely your large chunk of that increase will be gobbled up just through inflation, with the price everything going up. It's kind of been pretty consistent, but this is probably the largest increase that we've seen."

McFadden said they do tend to count on the MRS every year. "You just never know what it's going to be until you get to budget time though." 

"Especially with the times we're living in right now," he commented. "Everybody's struggling to make ends meet with the cost of everything being just crazy nowadays., I mean, for us, it helps for sure, but maybe it doesn't go as far as it would have say, four or five years ago."

He said the R.M. of Weyburn will have a formal sit-down budget meeting coming up in April. However, no specific date has yet been set, as it all depends on the Councillors' schedules.

Budgeting for the rural area is, however, "quite a bit different than it would be for a larger city like Weyburn."

"We don't handle the dollar amount that larger centers handle. Our biggest expense is our roads, our grid roads eat up a lot of our money," he explained. "We budgeted just over $400,000 for gravel last year on our roads. This year, we're budgeting the same amount of gravel as last year, but with the increase in the price of gravel, that budget will go up."

McFadden noted that with the spring we've been having, the grid roads across the province are taking a beating.

"The roads are just seeing some unprecedented rutting and soft spots, and it's ugly out there in some spots for sure. We'll have our work cut out for us once things dry up," he shared. "It's been an unusual spring, for sure, but you know what? We'll never turn away the moisture. We know how fast it can get dry in this country."

McFadden said one thing he had hoped to hear more funding coming down from the province is for highway twinning and intersection improvements.

"The last we heard was that they were hoping to go to tender this year for the Highway 39 and 13 intersection. They're proposing a roundabout, which I'm not 100 percent behind, but as long as it's big enough, I think it'll be okay."

"Then they're going to continue with the twinning going west on the 39 up past the elevators, all as one, which will definitely make that turn off into the two elevators there much safer," he added. "This will be the third attempt to fix that intersection out there by Truckers Inn [Main Track Cafe], so they better get it right the third time."