SARM calls for support in RMs amidst rising fuel costs
“The cost of fuel has never been higher, and the ripple effect of high prices is exceptionally frustrating for rural municipalities, the increased cost of fuel directly impacts a municipalities’ day-to-day operations as well as their budgets,” say Ray Orb, President of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM).
The speed of fuel inflation has left RMs scratching their heads and budgets to cover the large additional cost of successfully running an RM. Operating a rural municipality budget includes sourcing contractors for road maintenance and repair, ditch mowing, and bridge repair. In unison, an RM needs to account for their own fuel budget, and for the equipment they use daily, year-round.
“Every RM has at least two graders, alongside backhoes, gravel trucks, and front-end loaders that use substantial amounts of fuel. In the RM of Redburn we use six machines that run every day for seven months of the year, and two machines that run all year round. Looking at our upcoming budget, it’s hard to see the price of fuel to run these machines increase by fifty percent. It’s not easy for RMs to juggle this cost,” shares Guy Lagrandeur Administrator for the RM of Redburn.
Many RM’s are finding themselves in a tight position with their operating costs, alongside the contracted jobs that are trying to recoup the increased fuel costs through surcharges tied to cost escalation. The practice, whether warranted and appropriate or not, can result in disputes, claims, and delayed start times. “With a short season for maintenance work and projects to be completed in our rural areas, having quoted costs drastically increase and the clock ticking for work to get underway, local RM’s are feeling the pinch in their operating budgets,” says Orb.
The future of fuel prices doesn’t look promising for any reprieve from these high prices, we need to find support to offset this fast inflation.
SARM continues to stand behind our members and colleagues at Rural Municipal Administrators’ Association (RMAA) as they juggle their budgets and frustration over the rising fuel costs and little to no support from our provincial and federal governments.
SARM has heard the frustration of our members and colleagues at RMAA and will lobby our provincial and federal government to do better on their pledge to address the rising fuel costs.
SARM is listening to our members and colleagues at RMAA, we continue to be the voice for rural Saskatchewan and will lobby for support from our provincial and federal governments to help offset the surging fuel costs and the drastic implications it will have for rural Saskatchewan.
This release is the first of a two-part series being released the week of June 6, 2022, in the next release SARM will be highlighting the implications that rising fuel costs are having on Saskatchewan’s agriculture producers.
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SARM is the independent association that represents its membership of rural municipal government in Saskatchewan and is the principal advocate in representing them before senior governments.
RMAA is the Rural Municipal Administrators’ Association (RMAA) is an organization which brings together senior administration of Saskatchewan’s rural municipalities for the purpose of meeting the needs of the members and to help improve the professional services offered and delivered to all people of Saskatchewan.