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RM of Rosser approves moderate tax increase

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RM of Rosser reeve Frances Smee says the municipality tries to save for large expenditures through the use of reserve accounts.

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RM of Rosser reeve Frances Smee says the municipality tries to save for large expenditures through the use of reserve accounts. Photo Store

RM of Rosser property owners will see an average of $85 added to their 2013 tax bills, as compared to their 2012 totals.


On May 14, municipal councillors voted in favour of adopting the 2013 financial plan and approving a tax levy with a general municipal mill rate increase from 9.08 to 9.259.


Deputy reeve Kelvin Stewart said the majority of the increase comes from the need to cover higher fixed costs such as fuel and energy, as well as staffing costs.


The Interlake School Division raised education taxes by .67 mill — a minimal rise that superintendent Ross Metcalfe said is the first increase in six years.


The municipality is transferring $127,000 from reserve accounts to pay for office repairs, maintenance and repairs to firefighting vehicles and equipment, and recreation expenses.
Reeve Frances Smee said a portion of the $196,000 designated in the 2013 plan for firefighting costs is attributable to the need to provide coverage to new businesses located within the section of CentrePort that lies inside the municipality. As well, equipment is needed for new members of the volunteer fire department.


"We’ve got a really strong volunteer fire department," Smee said.


The provincial government is providing $100,000 to be used by the municipality to help cover the cost of developing new zoning bylaws for Rosser that will improve the speed of land development approvals within CentrePort by creating a single planning authority.


Smee said the Rosser council has hired a company to adapt the municipal zoning bylaws applying to land within the CentrePort area, and to align them with those of the City of Winnipeg.


The council’s 2013 financial plan presentation included a note that agreement in principle has been reached with the City of Winnipeg for provision of sewer service to CentrePort lots within the municipality.


While the issue of water service for this area is unresolved due to an international dispute over the City of Winnipeg’s right to provide water to other municipalities, the RM of Rosser’s five-year capital expenditure plan shows amounts of $821,713 and $785,889 slated for commercial sewer and water development in 2014 and 2015 respectively.


Smee said while money to cover some of this year’s expenses is coming from reserve funds, the financial plan also includes transfers into reserve accounts to pay for future expenditures.

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