City Status FAQs
General Information about the Application for City Status
In Saskatchewan, the minimum population required to become a city is 5,000.
Yes. According to the Government of Saskatchewan Health Covered Population data, Kindersley’s population is 5,357, and has been consistently over 5,000 since 2010. The accuracy of the 2011 Statistics Canada Census data has been publicly and widely questioned nationally due to the federal government’s decision to eliminate the mandatory long form census. The Government of Saskatchewan, economic development experts, and other agencies recognize Kindersley’s positioning as a regional centre, and many – including Great Plains College, Saskatchewan Economic Development Association, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Kindersley Chamber of Commerce, and the Saskatchewan City Mayors Caucus (SCMC) – refer to the Covered Population data as the most accurate for populations within Saskatchewan.
As a city, we become part of the Saskatchewan cities group and benefit from their access to senior levels of government for improved funding and programming. Cities also have greater fairness in taxation and property class categorization.
The Cities Act allows greater autonomy in urban planning and sub-categorization of tax categories that are not permitted under The Municipalities Act, which the Town of Kindersley is currently governed by. For taxpayers, this can result in more expedient execution of land development and a more proportional distribution of tax levies. This is vital to Kindersley’s continued growth as the ongoing financial burden of both new and existing infrastructure maintenance must be balanced with fair and sustainable levies to citizens.
The cache of being a city is a greater attraction for investors. In the past 10 years, a number of major franchises and retail chains have recognized both the local and regional consumer market that Kindersley serves. Future economic growth is still anticipated and can be spurred on by the Province’s recognition of Kindersley as a city.
After a municipality is incorporated as a city, it is a legislative requirement to hold an election for a new Council. Since elections for urban municipalities are already scheduled in October 2016, it makes sense to seek city status so that it will coincide with the election this year, thus saving taxpayers money, and allowing the new Council to begin with a full term.
Specific information about incorporation is found in Part IV, Division I of The Cities Act.
There are no fees associated with applying to be a city or the legislative act of incorporating. We will retain the same logo and “Experience Our Energy” motto and by planning the change to city status to coincide with this year’s municipal election, we will save on costs associated with having to hold another election for a City Council.
The taxes you pay are based on the assessment of your property and the mill rate established by Council. Taxes are not related to city status. Assessments are determined by the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA), which did its last province-wide assessment in 2013. Towns governed by The Municipalities Act are only able to use three classes – commercial, residential, and agriculture – to determine taxes. However, cities are governed by The Cities Act, which permits property sub-categorization to diversify the tax base. For example, multi-unit residential properties can be taxed at a different rate than single dwelling homes, and downtown commercial and highway commercial properties can be taxed at different rates. Commercial properties can be taxed at rates different than industrial, or elevators. This flexibility helps to spread taxes more equitably among the tax base.
All active bylaws and resolutions of the former town are also incorporated and continue as bylaws of the city unless inconsistent with The Cities Act, in which case they will be repealed.
Cities have their choice to contract their own police force or to maintain a Municipal Police Service Presentation with the RCMP. Once a community reaches a population of 5,000, regardless of whether being distinguished as a town or city, the municipality is required to pay 70 percent of the cost of RCMP services. This applies to all Saskatchewan municipalities with a population of 5,000 to 15,000. At the 15,000 population level, the city must bear 90 percent of RCMP costs.
Humboldt, Martensville, Warman, Swift Current, Yorkton, Meadow Lake, Melfort, and the Battleford all still maintain a contract with RCMP, while smaller communities like Dalmeny, Caronport, and Luseland have opted to employ their own municipal police force.
Becoming a city does not affect the Fire Department.
Just as we have now, municipalities are required to have a Local Assistant to the Fire Commissioner, which in our case is the Fire Chief. There are no other legislative requirements for our fire department. Changing to city status does not affect how our fire department currently operates. All operations of the department are the discretion of the municipality based on the recommendations of the Local Assistant.