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Town of Redvers's ability to pivot results in provincial award

The town's staff has taken many steps since its administration was shifted two years ago.

REDVERS - The Town of Redvers will receive a Corporate Vision Canadian Business Award for Rural Community Excellence for Saskatchewan for the town's ability to pivot during a challenging time.

Jena Cowan, the assistant chief administration officer for the town, said they received a call for nominations, filled out an application for the award.

In the application, Cowan said she discussed the many steps the town has taken since its administration shifted two years ago.

"It was a big change for both our office and maintenance departments, as we had two employees retire that had been with us for decades," she wrote in an email to the Mercury and SaskToday.

"We were lucky to have two highly-qualified staff members, Tricia Pickard and Dwight Jorgensen, who had been with the Town of Redvers for 10 years, to fill the chief administrative officer and maintenance foreman roles. They did so without hesitation and with their usual hard-working attitudes."

Within the first two months of the new positions, the town was tasked with several large and unexpected projects, she said, the biggest of which was working with the Water Security Agency to begin a complete overhaul of the town's water supply and treatment process for the community.

The town's well, which supplies water to the town, was past its projected life span. It was still functional, but the town needed to be proactive and plan for the future before a major breakdown.

"Digging a new well was our first step. Our new well would become our primary water source, and our older well will still function, but as our backup," Cowan said.

The Water Security Agency advised the town that a community of its size should have two or three wells for its water supply.

We are happy to say that our new well is complete and functioning."

The town is looking forward to the next phase of its project, which involves the water treatment plant.

"We are piloting a new water treatment system this spring to determine the filtration type we require, and have started developing plans for an expansion of our facility," Cowan said.

Once this phase is completed, she said the Town of Redvers will have reverse osmosis water right from its taps.

While this was the biggest project the town faced, administration and maintenance were also tasked to create and implement an occupational health and safety policy, procedures, forms and committee for the municipality, as one was not yet in place.

"We were given a three-month deadline to complete this, and we succeeded," she said.

While dealing with these large projects, the team kept on top of its daily tasks, and Cowan said they "even went above and beyond" with some grant applications.

"We were lucky to have been awarded several grants, one for our senior residents, and another for the installation of a push-button crosswalk on Highway 13, near our school," she said.

"As if that wasn’t enough, remember that all of our staff were in brand-new roles, with training to complete, and navigating new tasks that they had never seen before," she wrote.

"We are so proud of our team here at the Town of Redvers, and we are so thankful that our council is so supportive, progressive, and open minded," Cowan wrote. "Council has been a key part to the success of our municipality. With their input, ideas, and knowledge, we have and will continue striving to provide our residents with high quality services."