Recently there has been discussion comparing Swift Current numbers with Yorkton numbers. I have a few more interesting comparisons. These are taken from Yorton's 2012 audited statement and Swift Current's 2013 budget summary document. Our Sewer and Water department has over $2.4 million higher expenses than Yorkton (Yktn page 30), while both cities have about the same revenue. Our costs for the Solid Waste Utility are $400,000 higher than Yorkton (Yktn page 25). Yorkton has $23.5 million of long term debt (Yktn page 12) while Swift Current has $73.5 million. Yorkton budgeted for $6 million in capital projects last year and we budgeted for $20 million. We pay millions more each year in debt repayments. Swift Current also has a five year Capital Projects wish list of $250,000,000 (one quarter of a billion dollars). The City of Yorkton contributes to reserve funds to help pay for capital projects when they arise. Swift Current used to to that but not any longer, and have spent all the reserves that had been put away in previous years. These are not numbers that would suggest a healthy economy.
I would suggest that before the City asks for one more dollar in increases to the mill rate, that they come clean with the citizens of Swift Current. If our finances are in good shape as the Mayor suggests, then there is no reason for the huge increase. If we are in some difficulty then give us the straight goods without the spin and develop a plan to get us back on track. That needs to include getting our spending under control and develop a debt reduction strategy. Just to ask for more taxes so we can continue our free spending ways is just not on.
Don Robinson - Swift Current