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Estevan city council approves leave-of-absence policy

Council also gave first reading to four bylaws related to property taxes for this year.
Estevan city council 2021
The current Estevan city council.

ESTEVAN - Estevan city council approved a leave-of-absence policy for members at the May 13 meeting, after tabling the document several times.

The most contentious part of the document was whether council members should continue to receive payment if they need a leave and can't fulfill their duties, and if they do still receive their wage, how much should they receive. Coun. Shelly Veroba noted on multiple occasions that council members should not receive full pay since being on council is not their full-time job.

"A member of council may continue to receive their salary during an authorized leave of absence. If a member of council taking leave chooses to participate in some activities of council, they may receive 55 per cent of the wage. However, salary will not be paid to members that have alternative council members representing them during the approved leave of absence."

Also at issue was how many council members could be on leave at one time. Council agreed they would not grant leave if it meant there wouldn't be enough members for quorum.

The purpose of this policy is to provide for maternity and adoption leaves for members of council, medical leaves for members, and supports for members during a leave to ensure the public continues to be represented.

Veroba thanked city clerk Judy Pilloud for taking council's feedback and weaving it into the document.


The Rotary Club of Estevan received a community events permit for its annual Lobsterfest fundraiser on June 21 at Affinity Place. The event is the club's largest fundraiser of the year, and money raised will go to various Rotary community projects


Three building permits worth $537,801 were issued in April, bringing the total for the year to nine for more than $2.91 million. All three permits were classified as miscellaneous.


Council gave first reading to several bylaws related to property taxes. The first was to fix the rate of taxation. The budget that was approved in January had a two per cent property tax increase, the first community-wide hike in property taxes since 2019.

Council had to wait for the education share of property tax to be finalized in the provincial budget before it could bring forward the rate of taxation bylaw. 

The other bylaws were for the health levy, the library levy and the business improvement district. The health levy is expected to generate $101,962, which will be directed to the fundraising campaign to bring an MRI scanner to St. Joseph's Hospital.

The library levy will bring in $403,000 for the South East Regional Library and local library operations. The money raised will cover the city's provincially-mandated commitment to the library.

The business improvement district levy will fetch $27,500.

Second and third readings will follow at a later meeting.


Council approved a research collaboration agreement for the development of small modular reactors. Mayor Roy Ludwig said the city has been working on the document for a while, and the city's contribution will be up to $5,000 for work in kind.

The other partners – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Ltd., Westinghouse Electric Canada Inc., SaskPower, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization and the University of Regina – will each contribute $10,000.

Coun. Rebecca Foord wanted to know what the work in kind would be. Ludwig said it likely wouldn't be too onerous, and the city would be able to say no.

Coun. Lindsay Clark said SMRs represent the city's future.

"We've been working on this file for a number of years," added Ludwig, who agreed this would help the community in the long term.


In the inquiries portion of the meeting, Veroba asked about signs in the parking lot at the intersection of Fifth Street and 13th Avenue. People want to know why the city is restricting parking spots during the downtown revitalization project. She said it's to ensure downtown businesses and their staff, as well as people who live in the area, have sufficient spaces to park.