Estevan sports fields are up and running and summer students have accomplished their training to be able to accommodate all the Estevan parks and facilities’ needs through the 2019 summer season.
Rod March, the manager of parks and facilities for the city, said that gophers and pest control, flowers and landscaping are next in line.
“This year, we’ll be planting about 7,000 annual flowers and trees. We will be doing some landscaping with some new self-watering planters. In front of the library here it will be all landscaped,” said March.
As soon as leaves and grass start actively growing, the city hopes to start broadleaf weed control. The operation is anticipated to start sometime this week.
“We’ll be putting up signage and everything that has to go where we are, but we’ll try to hit the entire city within a week, weather dependent,” said March.
But one of the projects that is planned to be fully completed within the next few weeks is at the Royal Heights Veterans Memorial Park. The construction of the accessible play structure will have pour in place rubber fall protection.
“That means there is no sand, no woodchips, nothing like that. … That’s an ideal situation for when it’s around the spray park because we won’t have any mess with sand plugging the lines.”
It should take just two or three days to install the play structure, but pour in place rubber will take some time. So the area will be fenced off for some time to allow he binding agent in rubber protection to dry properly.
Once that’s completed they will proceed with finishing new washrooms in the park. The Rotary Club of Estevan Foundation provided the money for that part of the project. Facilities that were constructed last year that will be completed and tied into water and sewer, and electrical will be done up.
“We anticipate the full start-up of that particular park by June 1, again weather dependent,” said March.
Other play parks in the city will undergo some needed maintenance in the near future as well.
“We are going to start replacing the older play structures as time and money permits. But this year we are going to start with fall protection for a lot of these areas,” said March.
In the near future, the city also plans to address the drainage issues in Kensington Greens. As the area dries up enough to get equipment in, they’ll be putting in new drainage that was designed last year.
There is another big project on the city agenda to begin this year.
“Our big project this year is the start of the request for proposals and everything for a new splash park at Centennial Park here by the water tower. By the curling rink there will be a new splash park, again wheelchair accessible small play structures there and a small washroom facility as well. So it’s a whole new play area that will be set up within the geographical centre of the city,” said March.
The city took into account requests from citizens, who suggested that the new development for children ages two to 12 was needed in that part of Estevan. The project was approved in the budget in February and the hope is for the splash park to be installed by the end of September and to be up and running next summer.
And the Westview area will see some projects fully completed this year. The city has all the needed materials in to upgrade the outdoor hockey rink there.
“We are going to be putting a concrete slab and some new rink boards that we’ve got already down there. So for the next winter season that all will be ready to go… As funding and council allows, we’ll be putting in for a new building down there at some point too, because it’s just an old shack there right now,” said March.
There will be further changes in that area as well as the old wading pool will be turned into a community garden. This year they will put in the drainage system and bring the soil to have it all set for citizens.
A couple of major projects are planned for inside of the city facilities.
“Within Power Dodge Ice Centre here we are going to be doing a lot of upgrades. We’ve met with user groups, met with council, administration. So we are going ahead with pretty significant upgrades to address the immediate issues of the Power Dodge Ice Centre. That includes the mezzanine, bleachers, some heating issues, some showers. We are going to be splitting the change rooms in half so we allow for more male-female type accommodation in the change rooms,” said March.
Affinity Place will see some work happening as well.
“And we are doing significant upgrades to the ice plant component of Affinity. This is maintenance that needs to be done to the building. The mandate from council to me is to look after what we have and that’s what we are doing,” noted March.
The council is also anxious to see the results of the needs assessment for recreational projects in Estevan. These results will help to better understand and meet the city demands in the future.