With current projects set to be completed and new ones right around the corner, the City of Portage la Prairie is committed to completing them while staying below the rate of inflation.

At the February 12th City Council meeting, Chair of the Finance Committee Joe Masi gave his budget speech. He says there's two projects he can't wait to see completed.

"First of all, we are finishing Saskatchewan Avenue in 2024," states Masi. "It's a $41 million project. We never needed to increase property taxes to fund that project. We got cost sharing, good planning by the city and we had reserves to pay for it."

The second project that Council's prioritizing is the welcoming of Community Safety Officers to Portage. He adds that having boots on the ground to assist the RCMP will be a big step toward increasing safety in the city. The program will be coming into effect this year.

The tax increase for this year will also be below the rate of inflation, at 1.74 per cent. The rate of inflation is currently 3.1 per cent.

"We know that, with high inflation, people are hurting with the cost of groceries," says Masi. "We think we've done a good job to give people a budget that's reasonable and still provides the services as we continue to grow."

The budget will be split into two piles. There will be an operating net budget of $13.5 million and a capital budget of $16.4 million. The utility fund will have a net operating budget of $16.3 million and a capital budget of $9.25 million.

"We're very proud of this budget and I hope the people of Portage la Prairie give us their feedback when we have the public hearing," notes Masi.