It's heartening to hear that the City of Estevan has mustered up the fortitude to once again issue a challenge for the coveted Golden Garbage Can, that symbol of community cleanliness that is known far and wide, or at least in Weyburn and Estevan.
The clean-up duel is on again. Which city will be declared the neatest and cleanest at a given point in time this spring?
We understand completely that Estevan is totally dominant in terms of economic drive and community participation. In fact, without senior government intervention, the scales would have been tipped even more in our favour.
But this competition isn't about business and the general economy, it's about loveliness. Heading into the contest, Weyburn has held the edge in previous years with its natural advantage of having a usually serene river flowing through its centre that can be used to emphasize all that is good about it.
Weyburn is traditionally a finalist in the Communities in Bloom, provincial/national competition, so Estevan had some catching up to do in those departments.
But now local Pure Energy members and other community advocates feel confident that the Energy City is back in the ball game.
The competition isn't just about flowers anyway. It's about overall cleanliness, neatness, pride in property, both public and private.
The fact that Estevan has automated garbage pickup, eliminating the spilled bags and littering aspect of that job while Weyburn hasn't introduced that service yet, should weigh in our favour.
For the past half dozen years, local volunteers and City employees have been very, very busy introducing floral arrangements and trees along our streets and boulevards, revitalizing our green spaces, sprucing up our public parks and sweeping our streets. All this has been done in the midst of unprecedented growth and a frantic construction schedule that lends its own challenges. Making new subdivisions appear pristine while attempting to install water lines and curbs is a big task.
Civic officials tell us that 2003 was the last time the Golden Garbage Can was awarded, ending a long time friendly competition between our two cities. It seemed there just wasn't any more spirit behind the contest. In fact, the event had been reduced to the point that a lame little plaque was being passed along to the winning community rather than the brilliant golden embossed garbage can. It seemed the can was too clumsy to carry from one city to the other.
Well, the can has been unearthed in an Estevan storage room. We don't know where the plaque is, although we can guess it's in somebody's desk drawer in Weyburn's City Hall.
We're just happy to see that Estevan's civic administration is willing to once again shout out to their neighbour to the north that "the game is on, we want the can!"