2023’s budget for the city of possibilities has been locked in.

Portage la Prairie’s City Council approved the reading of budget 2023 at January 23rd’s council meeting. The budget isn't 100 per cent approved, however, as the city will allow Portagers to attend a meeting in April to ask questions and recommend changes.

Councillor Joe Masi brought the budget forward and says, overall, the city’s budget would consist of a net operating budget of $13 million with a capital budget of $25 million. It would also have a utility net fund, with its net operating budget set at $16 million, with a capital budget $14 million.

‘We wanted as a new council to get this budget done now,” explains Masi. “So we can let the people of Portage know what our priorities are, how we're funding them, and they can see what this council wants to address.”

He adds, in a year of inflation, the council's proud to see the budget increase by only 1.96 per cent. Masi says he, along with the rest of the council, carefully read through the budget to see where money could be saved while still providing all of the services that Portagers rely on.

“It’s an average of $44.60 per home worth $250,000,” notes Masi. “So, for $44.60 you continue to get the services and the infrastructure funding that we need to grow.”

The councillor says one of the biggest projects for the city lately has been the Saskatchewan Avenue West project. Masi is proud to say that, due to their planning, taxes will not be raised due to this project.

“That’s exciting when you have a plan for $41 million,” says Masi. “Hopefully, it will be completed by 2024.”