R.M. of Stanley Council has approved a $7.9 million budget for 2024/25. That's a 12.3 per cent year over year increase from 2023/24. 
Reeve Ike Friesen admits it's a big increase, but one they were expecting in order prepare their communities for many years to come. 

"We feel this is still the best we could do," he said. 

Contributing to the jump in spending are some of the most significant capital infrastructure projects in recent history, according to a news release issued by the Municipality. They are:

•A joint effort with the City of Winkler to provide expanded wastewater treatment capacity which will allow for expanded residential and commercial development
•A sewer project in the Corridor between Winkler and Morden for the Boundary Trails Health Centre expansion and expanded commercial development
•Low-pressure sewer infrastructure for the villages of Reinfeld and Schanzenfeld to provide improved sewer capacity and service for both communities
•A new community pathway linking Winkler and Morden to provide a safer active transportation alternative for commuters travelling between the two cities
•A new water reservoir to allow for expanded development in the area and provide consistent and secure access to potable water for Boundary Trails Health Centre
•Additional water reservoirs in Stanley to secure access to potable water in all areas of the Municipality
•Continued improvement to gravel and paved roads for safe travel for residents

An extra $248,000 is also being set aside for Health and Welfare Services, for a total of $435,000, in order to meet a 4-year, $1 million commitment to the Boundary Trails Health Centre expansion, along with significant contributions to both the C.W. Wiebe Medical Centre in Winkler and the Menzies Medical Centre in Morden.

Friesen explained, Council feels the need to support these efforts, noting everyone needs healthcare.

"We have a beautiful facility here already at Boundary Trails and we want to be part of the expansion. It's a good source in our area to save people trips to Winnipeg, it'll serve a lot of special services that they'll provide."

Also accounting for the 12 per cent increase in spending are regular operating expenses that have gone up in cost, including wages. Council is also fortifying its reserves by another $498,986. 

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

On a residential property assessed at $300,000, annual taxes will increase by about $75, and about $150 on a quarter-section of land.

"We're very comfortable with this," added Friesen. "Council and staff has worked hard on this budget and we expect this to be a good year going forward."

Click here to view Council's 2024 financial presentation to the public.

With files from Pam Fedack