Serious concerns over spending discrepancies

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Editor:

Recently there has been discussion comparing Swift Current numbers with Yorkton numbers. I have a few more interesting comparisons. These are taken from Yorton's 2012 audited statement and Swift Current's 2013 budget summary document. Our Sewer and Water department has over $2.4 million higher expenses than Yorkton (Yktn page 30), while both cities have about the same revenue. Our costs for the Solid Waste Utility are $400,000 higher than Yorkton (Yktn page 25). Yorkton has $23.5 million of long term debt (Yktn page 12) while Swift Current has $73.5 million. Yorkton budgeted for $6 million in capital projects last year and we budgeted for $20 million. We pay millions more each year in debt repayments. Swift Current also has a five year Capital Projects wish list of $250,000,000 (one quarter of a billion dollars). The City of Yorkton contributes to reserve funds to help pay for capital projects when they arise. Swift Current used to to that but not any longer, and have spent all the reserves that had been put away in previous years. These are not numbers that would suggest a healthy economy.

I would suggest that before the City asks for one more dollar in increases to the mill rate, that they come clean with the citizens of Swift Current. If our finances are in good shape as the Mayor suggests, then there is no reason for the huge increase. If we are in some difficulty then give us the straight goods without the spin and develop a plan to get us back on track. That needs to include getting our spending under control and develop a debt reduction strategy. Just to ask for more taxes so we can continue our free spending ways is just not on.

Don Robinson - Swift Current

Organizations: City of Swift Current, City of Yorkton

Geographic location: Swift Current, Yorkton

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Recent comments

  • Bart
    February 20, 2014 - 10:25

    Steve - Just call city hall and ask to speak to one of them. Everyone should be doing this before they get bowled over in the latest tax grab scheme.

  • Bart
    February 17, 2014 - 15:55

    Just call city hall and ask for any alderman or the mayor. Be prepared to hear why nothing they are spending on the want list is a waste though.

  • Steve
    February 14, 2014 - 21:11

    Council should be more open as promised.council has done an excellent scare attic on money spent on the new hospital waster treatment etc,all big ticket items ,in highland how much was spent on the football field , the road repair,which I may add is still not complete.what is being spent that we do not know about..that's the issue about carless free spending.if council is getting positive feedback from taxpayers,how.? how do you contact a council member to voice a concern

  • Steve
    February 14, 2014 - 21:10

    Council should be more open as promised.council has done an excellent scare attic on money spent on the new hospital waster treatment etc,all big ticket items ,in highland how much was spent on the football field , the road repair,which I may add is still not complete.what is being spent that we do not know about..that's the issue about carless free spending.if council is getting positive feedback from taxpayers,how.? how do you contact a council member to voice a concern

  • Steve
    February 14, 2014 - 21:08

    Council should be more open as promised.council has done an excellent scare attic on money spent on the new hospital waster treatment etc,all big ticket items ,in highland how much was spent on the football field , the road repair,which I may add is still not complete.what is being spent that we do not know about..that's the issue about carless free spending.if council is getting positive feedback from taxpayers,how.? how do you contact a council member to voice a concern

  • Bart
    February 04, 2014 - 11:35

    To put that quarter of a BILLION into perspective that is almost the cost of building the new stadium in Regina. Yet there are still people living here that think we don't have a spending problem (sadly 7 of them are on city council). I challenge every tax payer in Swift Current to crack open the budget themselves to see the "want" list then decide how many of their dollars they want to put into that while the need list is largely ingored. To put that problem into real life terms it is something like this: I want a hot tub, but my roof is leaking so I will throw a tarp over my roof and still get the hot tub. No one with any budget sense would do this.