OUTLOOK - The town council of Outlook met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday night, September 14. Present was all of Council; Bob Stephenson, Justin Turton, Sharon Bruce, Kyle McLeod, Ryan Husband, and Kevin Grotheim, as well as Mayor Maureen Weiterman, Chief Administrator Kevin Trew, and Municipal Clerk Crystal Fisher.
The meeting was broadcast on the Town of Outlook's Facebook page.
A number of topics and items were discussed, including the following highlights.
Public Works Report
Prepared by Luke Lockhart
Superintendent of Municipal Operations
- DLN Construction has completed the paving on McKenzie St N, we are very pleased with the work they have done to date; remaining road work for them is Cedar Place rehabilitation, and a few small patch jobs.
- We will be doing another round of pot hole repairs over the next week including residential streets as well as the highway sections.
- Over the next week or 2, we will be working on updating our infrastructure and paving plan.
- Hank’s Concrete has finished the majority of our planned sidewalk repairs for the year; including installation of access ramps to all sidewalks in town which were previously not in place. There are 4 ramps remaining (in progress,) and the section fronting the bakery remaining to do.
- We have had our second round of street sweeping recently performed by Virtue Construction, as always, we are satisfied with the service provided. We will be looking at our final sweep of the year to happen mid to end of October; depending on weather.
- Cross walks, and the new sections of curb requiring paint are slated to be done next week.
- McGills will have our annual main flushing done this week; on top of the scheduled sewer mains, we have also done areas of concern within the storm sewer system.
- Raw water intake, floc chambers, and lift station cleaning will be done over the next few weeks.
- The scale software has been installed at the landfill, and we will be starting our transition faze for billing next week, with full implementation with already passed rates slated to begin November 1.
- Tetratech has been on site to purge our monitoring wells and will be back to take samples for ground water monitoring.
General Public Works:
- Our last tree branch pickup is on this week, along with the usual compost routes, there is lots of stuff out.
- Chamber of Commerce banners are all now hung.
- We will be conducting interviews early next week for the 2 positions we have open.
Prepared by Megan Anthony
The Van Raay and Community Swimming Pool is winterized for the season. We saw many successes this year internally with our employees as well as externally with our programming. Swimming lessons were fully booked all season and we are brainstorming ideas on how we can accommodate more lesson sets throughout the summer.
The Summer Programming partnership with Small Steps Early Learning Center was a hit this year! Many kids came out to this program daily whether they were pre-registered or dropping in. We are planning on continuing this partnership moving forward as we heard a lot of positive feedback from parents and the staff. There are always a few things we need to improve on so Melanie Gamble from Small Steps and myself sat down with our team leaders and collected information on things that could be improved for next year. That list was MUCH smaller than the positive feedback we acquired. Thank you to our summer programming staff for creating a fun, educational and safe environment for the youth in our community, without them this program would not have run as smoothly as it did.
The Jim Kook RecPlex is gearing up to start making skating and curling ice. We had Living Sky Refrigeration in the first week of September to check on the ice plants to ensure they are ready to operate for the season. We are aiming to begin making skating ice at the end of September and curling ice after the Thanksgiving weekend in October. This year we are wanting to get all ice surfaces installed along with ice maintenance training done prior to user groups beginning so our current and new staff feel confident to perform their work duties efficiently and safely.
We have completed the hiring process for the Recreation and Community Development Assistant and would like to welcome Whittney Greig to the team! We also completed the hiring process for the Recreation Caretaker position and would like to welcome Sara Hein (Mellen) to the team full time! You might have seen her out and about this summer working on beautifying our community. We are still in the hiring process for a full-time recreation labourer and are hoping to have that position filled before ice making begins. We are currently in the process of hiring a kitchen manager, kitchen staff and a casual student recreation labourer.
Council held and carried the first reading for Bylaw 17 (2022) WaterWolf Planning District Agreement.
Council also held and carried the first reading for Bylaw 18 (2022) WaterWolf District Official Community Plan. A second reading was being sought, but corrections are needed before it comes back to Council.
In discussing the policy related to the town's Handivan, it was said that the current charges for usage of the van have been 80 cents per kilometer, $3.00 for a one-way trip, and $6.00 for a two-way trip for a number of years. It was also said that the Handivan has been running "at a significant loss" for some time. With the increase in gas prices and the costs of vehicle repairs, administration felt that an increase in usage charges was not unreasonable, hoping to eventually bring things closer to a break-even point. The recommendation was that the prices increase to $10.00 for a one-way trip, $15.00 for a two-way trip, and $1.50 per kilometer. If such a policy were passed, those prices would be reflected as of November 1 after user groups would be notified of the pricing change.
It was said that in 2018, the Handivan service did bring in a little bit of money at $267, but it has declined in the years since, with 2019 numbers showing that it lost just shy of $5000, followed by losses of $1100 in 2020, $1592 in 2021, and so far this year, it has lost almost $1800.
One of the things that Trew suggested was that when the Handivan is being used, it should be looked at first to ensure everything is running properly.
When Mayor Weiterman inquired as to how much the van is being used, Fisher noted that it is averaging ten trips per month in town.
Some perspectives on the pricing changed in the room when it was clarified that the prices don't reflect a per-person basis and instead reflect a vanload basis, meaning whether it's one person or perhaps a dozen, the price remains the same.
There was discussion on the current state of the van, including the age of the vehicle and how some of the mechanisms won't work properly due to user error.
A motion was made and carried to approve the policy, with prices of $1.50 per kilometer, $5.00 for a one-way trip and $10.00 for a two-way trip.
A motion was made and carried to approve the recipients of the SaskLotteries Grant, of which $21,400 will be dispersed among community groups.
The Town has tasked the Associated Engineering firm with coming up with plans to complete the replacement of the utility mains on the highway in two phases. The Town estimated that each phase would cost approximately $1.6 million to a total of as much as $3.5 million, and had budgeted with that in mind. The tendering process is complete and the lowest bid for Phase 1 came in at $1,883,480, submitted by Saskatoon-based company Con-Tech General Contractors Ltd. It is the company's intention to begin work on this project in the fall, and they expect to be completed by June 30, 2023. The Town expects to tender out the work for Phase 2 later this year, and if so, completion may be expected by the fall of 2023.
The recommendation was that Council award the contract for Phase 1 to Con-Tech General Contractors Ltd. for the price provided, and the motion was made and carried to move forward on the project.