The Municipality of Rhineland is posting a modest $1.2 million dollar increase in spending for 2024/25. 

In total, Council has approved a $17.8 million dollar budget for the year. That figure is a bit misleading, however, with over $7.9 million of that consisting of flow-through government grants that must be included in the figures. This includes $4.5 million in Disaster Financial Assistance funding, some of which is being carried over from 2022/23 because the work has yet to happen, and $798,000 from the federal government's Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program for the Gretna arena renovation.

Capital spending coming out of municipal coffers, however, includes Council's contribution to the final phase of the Priority Grain Roads project, $1.2 million in equipment purchases and $435,000 for the Municipality's portion of the Gretna arena renovation. 

The capital budget also includes a $150,000 line looping project in the village of Blumenort, two-thirds of which will be covered by the Manitoba Water Services Board and the remainder by the Municipality through the Rural Strategic Infrastructure Funding program. Improvements to the road through the ag park north of Altona could also be on the docket if Rhineland is approved for a grant to help offset the cost. 

Council is also proposing to increase the Municipality's long-term debt by $2.5 million if it were to move ahead with intersection upgrades and install low pressure sewer at the Ag Park. Currently, the Municipality of Rhineland has about $1.5 million in outstanding debt, or 3.1% of its allowable debt mandated by the province. 

Additionally, the Municipality is setting aside an extra $118,000 in reserves for a total of $1.9 million. 

"Over the last four years, we have seen a huge increase in machinery, almost everything that we buy has gone up substantially and our reserves have fallen behind," explained councillor Jake Heppner, Chair of the Finance Committee. "We're trying to get them more on par so that our taxation can be more on a level course so that we don't have spikes from year to year."

So, what does all of this mean for your local tax bills? 

Rate payers in the rural area will see an increase of 5.49%, or $49 on property assessed a $239,000. In Gretna, the bill is going up 6.6%, or $139 on property assessed a $239,000. Plum Coulee will see a 3.2% hike, or $76 on property assessed a $239,000, and in Rosenfeld, taxes will increase .3%, or $4 on property assessed a $239,000.

Overall, Reeve Don Wiebe feels the 24/25 budget addresses the inflationary costs in operating and reserve funds, keeping the municipality fiscally self-reliant and sustainable.