The City of Estevan is continuing their discussions on the budget for next year.
"We had a day where all our council and all our managers came in and presented their operational budgets with some of the capital item wish lists," explained Jeff Ward, City Manager. "The day went very well. I think we have a base to compile our budget package."
"So within the next couple weeks, the budget package will be presented and released on the website. Obviously we will be looking for feedback on that budget up until the middle of January. And hopefully one of the meetings in January, we'll approve the budget for the 2018 year."
Ward shared that the completion of King Street is one of the major projects on the budget.
"We did a fairly substantial rehabilitation of King Street last year and would like to finish that all the way to Kensington. That's one large, major project that we would like to finish next year. In regards to some other things, there's standard items like fleet renewal, some of our asset improvements, making sure that we're putting money into our facilities to make sure that they are kept up. All those items will be presented within the budget package when it is sent out to the public."
Not to be forgotten is the debt-load that the City is carrying.
"In the initial budget discussions, my suggestion is always to try and pay down $2 million of debt. So each year we pay $4 million of principal debt repayments and I think it's prudent for council to borrow potentially $2 million per year to complete large-scale capital projects such as King Street while still reducing or total debt load by $2 million a year."
"Now what comes out of public discussions as well as council discussions may change that but that is what is being presented at the moment."
"Hopefully it's presented in the first or second meeting in January as final budget approval."