ESTEVAN - In what is a local tradition, the first meeting of Estevan city council for the year began with the mayor’s address.
Mayor Roy Ludwig delivered the speech, and discussed the accomplishments for the city from the past 12 months. He also looked ahead to this year.
In the past 12 months, Ludwig said council continued to address the city’s fiscal position by reducing debt by $2 million. Upgrades were made to the intersection of King Street and 13th Avenue, the eastern half of Fourth Street was resurfaced, and sidewalks were upgraded and underground infrastructure was improved beneath the 800 and 900 blocks of Fourth Street.
The new integrated pathway and sidewalk system was added to the community, with more upgrades and finishing touches to come, the mayor said. Upgrades also took place at the water treatment plant.
The expansion of the Estevan Police Service building was completed.
The city embarked on a downtown revitalization initiative, and perimeter fencing occurred at the Estevan Regional Airport through a 50-50 cost share with the provincial government.
The city continued to make improvements at local parks, he said, and council approved the new dog park in the Hillside Play Park.
Both Affinity Place and the Power Dodge Arena underwent significant improvements to their ice plants, and Affinity Place had drainage improvements to the north side
Finally, a design occurred for an expansion to the landfill.
Looking ahead to 2022, the city plans to restore the paddling pool at the Churchill Playpark; complete the refurbishments to the city’s water tower; upgrade the HVAC and roof membrane for the Estevan Leisure Centre’s roof; finish the final asphalt lift for the 800 and 900 blocks of Fourth Street; and tackle roadway rehabilitation on Smith Street, Yardley Place and Hastings Place.
Upgrades will continue at the wastewater treatment plant, and at the Estevan Airport, there will be emulsions to all paved surfaces to extend the runway life, and they will be painting runway lines.
“In closing, we would like to thank our community over (how they handled) the last couple of years of COVID. We realize that this has tried everybody’s patience to the max. We thank you for your patience and optimistically think the end is in site,” said Ludwig.
Also during the meeting, council brought forward the 2022 budget document, so that it can be presented to the public for feedback. The document can be found on the city’s website.
The budget was first discussed during a special meeting in late November, when each of the department heads was given the chance to present their needs and goals for the upcoming year.
Ludwig lauded city manager Jeff Ward, city treasurer Trudy Firth and the city staff for their contributions to the document.
Councillor Shelly Veroba urged the public to take the time to go through the document and provide feedback.
“If there’s something in the budget you’re questioning, now’s the time to question it,” said Veroba. “Now’s the time to get the answers. It’s really good to have community input from our citizens.”
If people have questions, they can reach out to city hall or a member of council, she said.
Ludwig said the city appreciates the public’s feedback on the financial plan each year.
The budget is to be approved at a future meeting.