Martensville homeowners and businesses will have to dig a little deeper to pay their  tax bill in the coming year.

Martensville City Council adopted the city’s 2024 operating and capital budget at a special council meeting on Tuesday, February 6. The budget includes a 4.9% increase in revenue generated from the municipal portion of property taxes.

The projected increase will bring in an additional $145,000 in revenue to the city, an amount needed to offset increased cost of  wages, support contracts and utilities, as well as improve service levels through new staff positions in key areas.

The increase does not include the education portion of property taxes, which is collected by the city on behalf of the province.

According to the city’s corporate services department, the average homeowner in Martensville with a total assessed value of $375,000 will see an estimated increase in their municipal property taxes of $10 per month, or $120 per year.

Martensville Mayor Kent Muench

Martensville Mayor Kent Muench said the budgeted increase in property tax revenue is needed to ensure that existing services are maintained at current levels.

“Escalating costs across all sectors presented Council with real challenges in this budget,” said Muench in a news release issued by the city February 7. “As a municipality, we are not immune to the impacts of inflation, but we are very aware of the pressures it presents to residents and operations.”

Muench said the budget allows the city to maintain and improve services for residents and businesses, while at the same time continuing to invest in infrastructure and amenities.

Martensville receives revenue from a variety of sources, including taxes, grants and fees for services

Municipal property taxes account for 48.75% of the city’s overall revenues; while grants make up 25.22% of revenues; fees and services provide 17.51%, and transfers from reserves make up the remaining 8.52%.

On the expense side, roadways and infrastructure account for 30% of annual investment; while recreation and community services account for 25%.

Martensville’s expenditures are divided among various departments

The city’s water and sewer utility department is operated as a separate fee for service department, and is not funded by general property taxation.

The city’s capital budget includes approximately $33 million in new and ongoing projects, including: $23.6 million for the new Martensville Community Recreation Centre; $5.7 million in water and wastewater upgrades through the New Build Canada Fund; and $1.2 million for a temporary pedestrian overpass.

The capital budget also includes $925,000 for upgrades to the Martensville Sports Centre. The upgrades will be carried out over the next three years to spread out the cost. The most urgent project on the list is the replacement of the aging ice plant, which was installed when the building was first constructed decades ago. Parts for the ice plant are no longer available, and its R22 refrigerant system has been discontinued. Other improvements include upgrades to the roofing system, wall cladding and eavestroughs; replacing the rink boards, brine lines and ice field; and possibly installing a concrete floor under the ice surface.

The budget earmarks $100,000 for the relocation of the Martensville Fire Department training grounds to the new regional fire training facility south of Martensville. A final contract on the shared facility is currently being negotiated by the Saskatoon, Martensville and Warman fire departments.

Roadwork projects slated for 2024 include the completion of engineering and design work for Centennial Drive North from 3rd Street North to Baycroft Drive; the completion of engineering and design work for the 3rd Street North traffic calming project at Kinsmen Park; and the completion of engineering and design work for the future paving of parking lots at the RCMP building and city parks shop.

The City of Martensville will see increases in rates from contracted service providers, including garbage, recycling, organics and water.

SaskWater rates are scheduled to increase 5.5% in 2024, which translates into an increase of approximately $5 per month for a home consuming an average of 19 cubic meters of water per month. Garbage and recycling will cost each household an extra $15 per year. Homeowners who subscribe to the organics program will see the monthly fee increase by $2.50 per month, each month the service is provided.

Construction of the new Martensville Community Recreation Centre is more than 50% completed, and is slated to be opened this fall. The project is funded through allocated reserves, long-term borrowing, fundraising and  an Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program grant that was approved in 2022. The city is projecting to take out a $17.5 million long-term loan to be amortized over 30 years, with the first loan payment due in 2025.