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Budget shows improved drainage, roadwork on tap for Headingley

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More walking paths, improved drainage and a new first-responder vehicle are on the RM of Headingley’s shopping list for 2013.


The RM’s council approved its 2013 financial plan and five-year capital budget and expenditure plan at their April 24 meeting.


Most residents will see their property taxes rise by about 3.4% — an increase caused by higher school taxes.


The municipal mill rate remains unchanged from 2012 at 8.8. School tax makes up about 56% of a Headingley home owner’s total 2013 tax bill.


"We held the mill rate this year," said Coun. Jim Robson. He attributed this choice to continuing steady growth of about 5% annually within the municipality, along with a rise in property values.


"The community is growing nicely," he said.


The largest expenditure for the coming year is approximately $365,000 to be used to improve storm drainage, widen shoulders and create walking paths on a section of Roblin Boulevard from Bridge Road to the municipality’s western boundary.


The municipality recently took over control of the roadway from the provincial government.
"This is our opportunity to make it a real gem for the community," said Robson.


Work will begin when the ground thaws and should be completed by the fall.


The municipality is replacing a 20-year-old emergency response vehicle with a new one that’s larger and contains a 300-gallon water tank. The new vehicle will cost about $210,000 and be delivered later in the year.


Robson said other drainage improvements, totalling about $178,000, will continue, with buried pipes replacing open ditches. This work helps reduce mosquito breeding areas.


"We do have a tough piece of land to maintain here," Robson said, adding that most of Headingley is flat so rainwater washes dirt into ditches.


The cost of snow removal for 2012 rose from $70,000 to $225,000, he noted, due to above-normal snowfall.


Headingley’s five-year reserve fund is calculated to be approximately $4.2 million by the end of 2013.


"We manage that carefully throughout the year, Robson said.


While storm sewer drainage, implementation of the municipality’s new recreation master plan, community street paving and fire department and public works equipment are listed as planned expenditures by 2018, the municipality plans to keep drawing on the reserve fund rather than borrowing money for these projects.

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