WILKIE — With another year past it brings us to the challenges facing us in 2023. Town council held a preliminary budget meeting to discuss upcoming purchases and projects to determine what work will be completed in the upcoming year.
Council has decided to purchase a new tractor and snow blower in 2023 and to trade in our current tractor and sell off the old snow blower. The blower could no longer handle the load of the work it was doing and was in the shop for repairs more than it was out cleaning streets. Council also decided to go ahead and send out the notice of intentions for a potential paving project to take place on 4th Street West and a couple of avenues between 4th St. West and 5th Street West. Property owners will have the right to petition against this work and they can contact the administrator who will help them with the petition to ensure its validity. Please do not hesitate to contact the town office if you receive a letter, they will be happy to explain the costs and process to you.
The town has also taken over the operation of the Wilkie Medical Clinic upon Dr. Kemp’s retirement. We currently have doctor coverage 3.5 days each week with Dr. Matta and Dr. Bloem both doing clinic hours. We are hoping to move to four days per week coverage in February. Town council also decided to do some renovations to the clinic. Most of the work being done is cosmetic in nature but it will surely make the office more personable for all.
The significant snow fall we have received this season has had the Public Works crew busy. Fortunately, we have been able to handle the work with our own staff and have not had to hire additional personnel, but we definitely did exceed our fuel budget for 2022 and other work has had to be put aside.
The arena experienced problems with the ice plant over the Christmas break. The morning of Dec. 24 there was an electrical problem with one of the compressors which caused it to overheat and left it unrepairable. Thankfully, the city of Estevan had a new compressor that they were not planning to install until later this year so they generously sent it to us and when one is available from the manufacturer it will be replaced. Without the city of Estevan’s generosity, we would have been without a compressor until at least mid-February. We are thankful for the understanding given to us from the Outlaws, Wilkie Minor Hockey and the Wilkie Curling Club and look forward to enjoying the remaining hockey and curling seasons.