Northern Sunrise County slashes residential tax rate

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Northern Sunrise County council chose to reduce its residential mill rate at its meeting on April 9.

The council approved its final 2024 capital and operations budget, a $29,088,804 budget that is inclusive of nearly $22 million for general operations, just over $1.2 million in debt payments, and $6 million in capital investments.

“Council recognizes that the past few years have been economically challenging on ratepayers,” says Reeve Corinna Williams on the decision to reduce the residential mill rate.

“Council wants to be able to ensure that the residents can stay in their homes without exorbitant tax bills.”

Williams says council recognizes that many ratepayers are experiencing major financial stress and council hopes to help reduce some of their stress by ensuring tax rates are not exorbitant.

Residential mill rate dropped by $1, bringing the tax rate down to $3 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Residential property owners with the same assessed value as 2023 will see a 20 per cent decrease on the municipal portion of their taxes.

The 2024 budget includes some major projects that will help improve the County’s infrastructure and increase recreational opportunities.

Proposed projects include the construction of a Pump Track, updating trail signage, an annual gravel haul in Marie Reine and Judah, local road and bridge maintenance, fleet and equipment replacement, annual drainage program, and utilities upgrades.

Williams says the Pump Track will be a great addition to the recreational opportunities available in the county and will be of interest to people of all ages. The Pump Track is set to be erected in St. Isidore, one of the main cultural and recreational centres in the county.

“In its simplest form, a pump track is a set of dirt or paved rollers and berms designed to be ridden without pedaling,” says Williams, adding that by using the techniques that riders can create momentum through sets of rollers, allowing them to carry speed through turns and back into another set of rollers.

“Pump track designs can vary in different sizes and designs.”

Trail signage will be updated in Pat’s Creek and Harmon Valley Park, while some new installations will be done at Andrews Family Trail located in the Murphy’s Flats Day Use Area.

“The annual re-gravel program will take place in Marie Reine and Judah area this year,” explains Williams.

“Maintenance will be performed on the roads that have oil stabilized gravel on them, namely East Ridge Road and Kaufman. The bridge file for replacement is located on Sunrise Road by the County office, other works include general maintenance and upkeep.”

The County sent out its annual assessment and tax notes to ratepayers on April 26. Williams says the County is working hard to ensure they are analyzing cost efficiencies and notes the Agricultural Services Department Building Project is ongoing, but they hope to have it completed this year.

“Ensuring that regular and ongoing maintenance of the County’s assets is smart fiscal planning,” she says.

“This increases the longevity and life cycle of the County’s infrastructure,” Williams says.

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