They plan to spend about $7000 for every resident of the city. There is a lot of work being reviewed as part of the 2019 Five Year Capital Budget in Moose Jaw.
City Councillors received the game plan this week as part of the budget process with Finance Director Brian Acker taking time to highlight some of the work along with their philosophy for dealing with the infrastructure needs of the community.
"There's just over $240 million worth of expenditure requests and in terms of funding that, we have about $138 million in identified funding sources, we plan to borrow an addition $45 million and we have previous borrowing of $30 million that we just placed in the fall, as well as money from reserves and short-term financing."
Acker says this is one of the largest capital budgets in the history of the city and when you look back at the 2009 Five Year Capital Budget, there was only $75 million in planned spending.
Infrastructure has been neglected for years in Moose Jaw and officials say we can't put off these projects anymore as we risk the health and safety of the community if we don't have good sewer and water along with roads and bridges, just to name a few.
Like the Operating Budget, the Capital Budget will also use a priority based points system so councillors can quickly see how the projects stack up against one another. With the amount of work that needs to be done and the amount of borrowing that the city has used to pay for projects, Acker has suggested that councillors either need to cut spending, borrow more or find alternative funding sources.
During the presentation Monday night, Acker explained that there could be more funding from the province and the federal government for some of the projects but they can't count on that. City officials are also starting to prepare councillors to have a debate on the merits of implementing a paving levy that residents would be charged in order to do more road repairs in a given year.
Budget talks will continue Wednesday evening as councillors receive third-party budgets.