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Preeceville mayor optimist for new year

Preeceville Mayor Ralph Ager gave his projected view for the new year for the Town of Preeceville, expressing optimism for the future. .
Preeceville Welcome_result
The Town of Preeceville sign welcomes all visitors to the community in 2022. –File Photo

PREECEVILLE - Preeceville Mayor Ralph Ager gave his projected view for the new year for the Town of Preeceville, expressing optimism for the future.

“We had a byelection in the late summer of 2023 and three new councillors were elected. They have been actively getting involved with board  and committee appointments and also learning about town infrastructure and town operation,” said Ager. “New councillors are Taylor Sliva, Meghan Nelson, and Kenton Hull.

“We hired a new community development officer this year, Tacey Goodsman, who took over from Andrea Sopel-Tonns. We also said goodbye and happy retirement to our office assistant Elaine Simpson and then hired Madison Comerford as her replacement.

Preeceville’s community development officer has been very busy with many events and projects for both young and old alike.

“Our economic development committee deserves a lot of credit as they have been very busy with several projects such at the eco friendly nine-hole golf course, the main street market, and their new initiative, the new memorial park with Christmas lights, winter skating area, and the movement of the stage from the town administration parking lot,” said Ager.

The curling rink is up and going after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 and issues with the artificial ice plant, according to Ager.

“Western Days had a record crowd this year of over 1,500 people over the three days as a demolition derby was added to the weekend and provide the majority of the increase in attendance.

“We continue our elm tree pruning project and inspection, and we have a clean bill of health regarding the condition of our trees and we have been able to avoid any Dutch Elm disease.

We did a small street project to fix the hump in the street next to the old mini golf location.

“Thanks to the legion hall fundraising committee, the hall was equipped with air conditioning this summer.”

The Town finished its 2022 year under budget and there was only a small tax increase (less than 0.5 per cent) for 2023.

“We have just completed the sale of the library/ dental clinic building to the dental group that is operating in the building so that is good sign that their business will continue in Preeceville for many more years to come.

A highlight for Preeceville during 2023 was the comeback of the Preeceville Pats senior hockey team.

“Its great to see senior hockey back in town, hats off to the Pats executive for getting together and making this happen, and to all the businesses and individuals in town who donated or supported the Pats in this endeavor; again another attraction to bring people into our town.

“Our volunteer fire department is very active and we have great crew members who are focused on making sure the town meets all the new fire protection requirements. The town makes sure each year that our budget keeps them compliable and ahead of the game.

“For the 2024 year I am very optimist with many projects on the go,” stated Ager.

Some of the major projects in the works are the roof repairs to the town administration building and the Preeceville arena lobby and dressing room.

“Hopefully we will get some direction on our town water situation as we have been meeting for over three years with Sask Water to either construct a pipeline connecting several communities or upgrade our water treatment plant.”

The Preeceville EDC has identified a new project as they are investigating the revitalization of the rest stop park east of town by the town wells.

“As far as 2024, I can only speculate on the tax situation,” said Ager. “I think our 2023-year end will come in very close to budget, with some savings on snow removal and some easing of fuel prices during the year.

“We are in the process of starting our 2024 budget and hopefully there will be some money left over after the rooves are looked after in order to complete some significant work on the streets in town.

“We asked for and continue to meet with the health region management on a semi-annual basis to make sure we are in the loop and have some input into the direction and status of our hospital and doctors in Preeceville, as again, having a good hospital that is fully staffed with doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners is an important drawing card for the community. We are scheduled to meet again with the health region early in the New Year.

“It is great to see Treeline Truck and Trailer doing a large shop expansion in town as it will more than double their building size. The town sold Treeline some land to the east of the building to help make the expansion much more feasible with more space for parking semi trucks and trailers.

“We will continue to strive to make Preeceville an affordable community by keeping taxes in check, and providing lots of sports and recreation, businesses, and services, and jobs, to attract families and people of all ages to our community,” concluded Mayor Ager.