UNITY — With 2022 behind us, we are looking forward to a busy 2023. The town has had assessments done on the water treatment plant, the lagoon, and the landfill. This helps with prioritization when conducting strategic planning.
The next infrastructure project was delayed until this coming year due to availability of contractors. Inflation and supply issues have driven the final projected cost up significantly. We have grants to help through both the provincial and federal governments. It would help considerably if they would bump the grant amount to keep pace with inflation.
We have some staffing changes to report for the past year. Nicole Headrick and Kavi Pandoo left us. We’ve hired Lisa Feser (new parks and recreation director) and Stephen Schwartz (finance officer). Stephen is working to familiarize himself with the system and budget process. We are pleased to have him in the office. Lisa has implemented Live Barn for the arena. This gives those who are away the opportunity to watch their children or grandchildren on the ice. She has great ideas for the future.
Staff are looking at re-implementing a tree trimming program so we can keep ahead of any problems. There were several requests for four-way stops at intersections. There has not been a consensus to implement signage at every intersection and council would like to have consistency when possible. Dog licences will now be a one-time licence for the life of the dog. The licence helps identify your pet should they be lost.
We were part of several events. We ran the adopt-a-block program again to clean litter off the streets. A huge thank you to Credential Financial Services, Hollyhocks Greenhouse and the Delta Co-op for their sponsorship. We took part in the Rodeo Days parade. We worked with minor ball to refurbish the ball diamonds. We helped facilitate the town-wide garage sale. In June some of us were able to take training for the Incident Command System. This is the basis for all emergency planning. We ran an information booth in the Ag Society Fall Fair. It was an honour to be part of the Legion Remembrance Day service. I was also pleased to be invited to UPS for their beautiful Remembrance Day service. The town took part in the Winter Wonderland Parade. Thanks to the recreation crew for decorating the truck and to Aileen for driving. Council has participated in the meals on wheels program for a couple of years now. It’s an enjoyable adventure. Council has all showed dedication to you, the taxpayers through their work on various committees and participating fully in council meetings.
There are numerous others out there who volunteer their time to represent the town. Some you will find on the Regional Park Board, Unity and District Health Care Foundation, Parkview Place, Unity Library Board, Wheatland Regional Library Board, Unity and District Emergency Measures Organization, the Association of Regional Waste Management Authorities of Saskatchewan, Unity Mutual Aid and the Unity Housing Authority. Thank you to everyone who represents our town. Your contributions make Unity the place to be. Those who coach and dedicate their time to our young people are priceless. Thank you as well.
We’ve welcomed two new doctors, Dr. Shah and Dr. Chung. Once again, a huge thank you to Dr. Williams for his dedication to the Unity and District health system that serves all of us.
The old Highway 21 will officially become 5th Street East. The reroute has taken some getting used to and is definitely well used. Lighting will be added once they can get at things. We have definitely had snowmaggedon to end 2022. The work to keep the streets and our facilities clear has been never ending. Hopefully, the new year will space the snow dumps out a little further. Kudos to all of our staff for showing up every day.
There is always a ton of work done through the office. Everything processed through the town is double and triple checked to ensure procedures are followed. Anything to do with provincial or federal submissions requires a lot of paperwork, history of past projects, financial information for the former 10 years and on and on it goes. This all takes time and focus. Thank you to our office staff for keeping us on track.
We still plan to implement monthly water bills. This winter and spring will be busy but possibly before fall. Please keep in mind any increases or changes to billing are council driven and we are always available to discuss them with you. Our contact information is on the website, or you can leave a message through the office. We do plan to hold a public meeting in 2023 to update you on our financials, our priorities for the year and to answer your questions. We look forward to seeing you.