After weeks of a construction bid being up for the Downtown Revitalization Project, it’s now one step closer to becoming a reality.  

During last night’s city council meeting, the City of Estevan announced that ASL Paving Limited will be taking on the construction work.  

“I know a lot of the frustrations that’s happened is people don't know exactly how it's going to impact their business, what we're doing at the alleys and parking. Now that there's a contractor in place, we can really finesse those details, work with our engineering firm, Associated Engineering, and the winning contractor ASL Paving to figure out what's the best way we can do this most efficiently with minimal interruptions to the downtown businesses. So, we're excited to get there [and] keep that communication with all of the downtown businesses and the public as a whole,” City Manager Jeff Ward explained.

In a letter to council, Ward explained that the bidder estimated the full scope of the project to land at over $10.6 million. However, he clarified that there is some leeway to that number. 

“Because it's not a tender that's specifically for a specific amount of work, we can now work with that contractor and bring down different options, negotiations down to get into that $9.29-9.3 [million] number that we have to actually put into the project. Although that was a bid number, we will work with them to either reduce scope or look at options get the number down, so it's within budget," said Ward.  

Councilor Rebecca Foord said that once they meet with the contractor, they will be able to solidify a timeline. 
“Some of the things we truly cannot communicate till we've opened the ground and see what's going on under Fourth Street. But I think some clear and concise timelines, some clear and concise communication from our marketing team from all the downtown businesses. It's going to be really helpful for the community,” said Foord.  

Councilor Shelly Veroba noted that a lot of constituents have been looking for clarification on the project since the last council meeting.  

“I think it was really good to have people who reached out to spark conversation. A lot of people just wanted to have questions answered. I would say all of the people I spoke with were satisfied and they were appreciative of the $7.75 million that the federal government grants coming to us is coming to the city of Estevan and not going to one of the other cities that would have been on the list if we had denied the funds,” said Veroba. 

Last Friday, the city met with downtown business owners to hear their concerns that may come up during construction. Ward said that since a contractor has been chosen, communication with the businesses and the public will be clearer moving forward.  

“It was really a lot about the uncertainty was the biggest fear for how much their business is going to be impacted, how were they going to get access for their guests and their tenants. Unfortunately, didn't have the answer there. Now, with the finalization of the contract, we should be able to keep that communication with them to ease some of their concerns,” said Ward.  

He added that other concerns included snow removal and what the project will look like. Ward hopes to answer those questions as further planning commences.  

The motion was passed by council. While no start date has been confirmed, Ward is looking at a May 1st construction start, pending the weather.