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Weyburn RM to pay $1.25M for new hospital

The Rural Municipality of Weyburn is committing a total of $1.

The Rural Municipality of Weyburn is committing a total of $1.25 million over the next 10 years towards the new acute-care hospital for Weyburn, as the RM council passed their 2010 budget on Wednesday with a one-mill increase to cover this commitment.One mill brings in about $125,000, which is the amount of one years commitment they will pay each year for the next decade towards building a new hospital. No acute-care hospital has yet been approved for the city, but the Sun Country Health Region has identified this as the next major capital project need for the City of Weyburn and area.The Weyburn and Area Hospital Foundation has been established as the fundraising arm for this project, as according to current legislation, the local community has to pay 35 per cent of the cost of the project while the province pays the balance.We thought its better to start now. Well set that up as a reserve account, and when its needed, well pay it out, said Reeve Carmen Sterling.The increase works out to about $141 per person in the RM for the year. Weyburn is the second RM to make this commitment to the new hospital; earlier this spring, the RM of Brokenshell committed to paying $20,000 a year over the next 15 years, or a total of $300,000.The RM will also continue paying $50,000 to the city for the use of the citys recreation facilities, and $2,500 will be provided as a grant to the Soo Line Historical Museum, as a starting base. We said wed start out with this amount for now, and well ask them to keep us posted as we have discussions with the city, she said.For the RMs budget for the year, the municipality is increasing their budget for gravel to $338,000, up from $300,000 last year, and the road construction budget is down slightly from last year at $195,000. Of this amount, $85,000 is to go towards the repairs to the bridge on the Golf Course road just off Highway 39.For the bridge project, the RM is applying to SARM for a grant which will cover up to 90 per cent of the cost of the project.In terms of road building, the RM will rebuild just two miles on the correction line located on the south end of the RM, connecting with the RM of Lomond, east of Highway 35.Transportation services is the biggest part of our annual budget at $1.1 million, said Reeve Sterling, noting the property taxes are set to bring in revenues of $1.32 million; with government grants added in, the total revenues for the RM are $1.78 million.Other expenditures for the RM include general government services (office, equipment), which will cost $235,000; the RCMP contract and the fire protection agreement with the city, totalling $47,000; transportation services (roads, gravelling, etc.), $1.36 million; environmental services (including pest control and weed control), $32,000; recreation and cultural services $68,000; planning and development services, $58,000, with expenditures totalling $1.8 million.As Reeve Sterling noted, the total will require the RM to take some monies out of reserves to offset the increase and keep the tax hike to one mill.Meanwhile, the RM council discussed the need for ratepayers to let the RM office know when they are building anything on their property, as it may require a building permit.Administrator Kim McIvor noted there have been some instances of people building different projects on their land and not calling to see if a building permit was needed. He pointed out that under provincial legislation a permit is required for certain structures.We follow the provincial building code, and have a contract with a building inspector who comes out from Regina. We need ratepayers to know its provincial legislation and its required, he said. Wed be putting ratepayers at risk without it.McIvor noted even if its a farm building, a development permit would still be needed even if a building permit wasnt necessarily required.