Road Maintenance Fees
Res #: 18-15A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
WHEREAS the current legislated road maintenance rates are not reflective of the costs incurred by municipalities; and
WHEREAS there is currently no annual review for adjusting the legislated road maintenance rates relative to current costs such as inflation, the value of commodities, road maintenance costs & the replacement cost of infrastructure;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to ensure that the road maintenance fees are reviewed annually and increased to reflect the current increase of inflation.
MINISTRY OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS' RESPONSE
- In past consultations on the issue of road maintenance fees with the municipal and private sectors, SARM indicated a desire to have road maintenance agreement (RMA) rates based on actual RM costs for road maintenance and construction, versus inflationary adjustments. To this end, a three-year study was initiated by government with the support of SARM requiring RMs to track and record the actual costs of maintaining roads subject to RMAs with heavy haulers. Various requests by the ministry and SARM were unsuccessful in recruiting RMs to participate in the three-year study. With only five RMs sporadically submitting data over the three year study period, the study will not provide the necessary actual road maintenance and construction cost information on which to base future maximum RMA rates.
- Government is currently reviewing industry financial contributions to RMs, rural road infrastructure and RM accountability; road maintenance agreements are included as part of this review. The objective is to develop policy that will assist both the business sector and local governments in addressing the challenges of Saskatchewan's economic growth, in terms of providing necessary services and infrastructure, but without creating obstacles in terms of competitiveness and growth.
- The RMA road maintenance and loss of road life rates are to cover the incremental costs associated with bulk hauls, and are not simply to supplement the maintenance, construction and repair of municipal roads as some RMs perceive.
- At the 2013 SARM convention, the Minister of Government Relations announced a plan to increase the 1999 road maintenance rates, based on an inflationary adjustment. This was intended as an interim approach, given the lack of data on actual costs.
- This resulted in a 37.1 per cent increase over a two-year period; an 18.5 per cent increase in 2013, with a further 15.7 per cent increase following in 2014. The rate increase was based on the increase in the annual Saskatchewan Consumer Price Index from 1998 to 2012.
- In December 2013, SARM requested 2015 rate increases, such that there was full cost recovery of road maintenance under RMAs; the ministry responded requesting suggestions from SARM on how information on the actual cost of road maintenance and restoration could be obtained. The ministry remains open to discussing how it could obtain information on these costs.