Council members of the Rural Municipality of Keys held a meeting on July 7 to discuss various projects and expenses that will be occurring over the summer, including the inspection of the ten bridges placed in the RM.
The major project, explained Barry Hvidson, Administrator, started in December of 2015, with the repair of a bridge located at ENE 21-31-02-W2. The piles of the bridge were replaced and a span was added at the cost of $1,045,273.
The municipality only had to cover about $172,000 through taxes, while the remaining cost was covered by grants. The Municipal Roads for the Economy Program (MREP) covered $750,000, and the Gas Tax Fund provided $123,181.
Four other bridges are seen as a concern in the municipality, so an inspector will be brought in this month to look over all 10 of the bridges and offer guidance. The four bridges have been allotted $300,000 each for major repairs.
The income for the year, due to the inflation caused by the bridge project, is at $2.2 million. About $700,000 of that amount comes from taxes, and the rate has remained the same for three years at 15.5 mills. Hvidson was very impressed with the community’s timeliness, as 96.56 per cent of the current taxes were paid at the end of 2015.
Major expenses for the RM of Keys include drainage, road repairs, and dust control. The expenses allocate about $180,000 per year for gravelling of the roads, and $20,000 for dust control.
Beaver control is also a high concern, and at the council meeting, the current beaver population is at 718. The government provides a grant for about 300 beavers.
The municipality has seen a decline in patchwork that had to be done for this year, a sign that the program to catch beavers has been helping prevent damages.
The Rural Municipality of Keys is led by Reeve Vivian Morgan; Counsellors Garth Bates, Tammy Bobyk, Eugene Strozen, Wallace Butterfield, Kenneth Lozinski, and Clarissa Mydonick, and Hvidson. The Hamlet of Crystal Lake, located within the municipality, held a meeting on July 10 at 10 a.m.