There were a few things of note on Monday nights city council meeting.
First on the agenda was a motion by Pleasantdale School asking permission to develop an Outdoor Schooling area. They plan on planting several rows of trees and plants. While most of the area rests on school property, a good portion of land they requested is owned by the city, and needed council approval in order to move forward. This motion was passed by council.
Also on the agenda was a motion by Envision Counselling seeking the waving or reduction of rental fees for the curling club. Envision would like to hold their Silver Anniversary Luncheon at the curling rink in May. The motion was passed and the fees were waived. The Estevan Humane Society also requested the use of city tables for the Whisker and Wine Gala for no charge. This motion was also passed by city council.
A vote was held for a new member for the board of police commissioners, Josh LeBlanc had declined the appointment and Bernadette Wright was voted into the position.
The 2019 city budget was also passed last night. One concern for several residents, was the fact that there was no property tax increase in this year's budget. It sounds like residents were concerned that no increase this year would mean a much higher increase next year. Council understood these concerns but made the hard adjustments 3 years ago when the city lost its federal grant and believes that no tax increase this year is the right way to go.
Another big item on the agenda last night was getting the approval of phase one of the raw water treatment pipeline tender. The original plan was to have this project completed with one tender but it became clear that cost overruns would put this project way above budget. Shane Bucsis Water Services Manager with the city explains why this project is needed and what it does.
"The new raw water intake will take water from Rafferty and pipe it to the Water Treatment Plant. Currently the water from Boundary Dam is being used and our trihalomethanes are too high and were outside of compliance. With our new raw water source we will be providing safe drinking water to new standards as well as reduce hardness and organics in the water."
Having the project split into three tenders, helps with the overall cost of the project. By bringing in smaller companies to bid, it increases the chances for finding the best company and the best price to get the job done.
Phase one will include the hookup into the water plant and the laying of 6.2 kilometers of pipeline. They are also planning on using a 500-millimeter pipe rather then the original 600 millimeters, this will reduce costs by a fair margin without significantly reducing the lifetime of the pipeline.