It was a light and quick open session meeting for City Council on Monday night as only a few items, though noteworthy, were discussed.
Among the topics was the renewing and updating of the Mutual Aid Agreement between Estevan and several surrounding towns and RMs. It hasn't been examined since 1993, and in light of recent disaster events such as floods and snowstorms, it needed to be brushed off.
"Our Mutual Aid has been exercised in the last few years, a couple of events with flooding and then again with with our severe snowstorm that we had last year. It's better to have that it place now. It's outdated, so we just made sure it's current, and we brought on three new partners with us," explained EMO Coordinator Helen Fornwald.
"Hopefully we don't have to exercise that, but if we do then we have a mechanism in place so that we can, with one call, activate our mutual aid and we'll be there for each other to help."
Mayor Roy Ludwig noted that there was a little sense of urgency on the matter.
"Anytime that we can help our outlying communities, or receive help from them, is a positive. In any catastrophic event, we can then help our neighbors, and they in turn can help us."
Equipment, services and manpower can be quickly called up with a phone call. While the parties involved can certainly provide assistance to each other anyway, the agreement provides guidelines on how it'll happen.
Although Fire Chief Dale Feser was unable to be present at the meeting, his inspection report regarding the Civic Auditorium was read to those in attendance. His assessment took note of the fact that significant structural issues were at play, and stated that, in the event of a fire in the building, those could potentially make the place collapse. That said, he reassured people that he and his crews would do all in their power to provide rescue, and save what they could as long as no one was at risk. While SaskPower and SaskEnergy were asked to give their perspective to Council, they declined to get too involved.
The City's normal building inspection company, Municode, also submitted their report, acknowledging the assessment of WSP, the group contracted out to specifically examine the Civic, and didn't want to second guess it. Ludwig noted that Council is comfortable with the reports that they received, and is confident that they will make a decision soon. In fact, the next meeting on December 18th will most likely be the crucial date, where the fate of the building will be given a thumbs up or down.
"We'll continue to take public input. A second structural opinion that has been given to us that has been paid by a couple of local contractors will be looked at as well. We'll be giving that due weight. Hopefully by December 18th Council will feel that they have enough information to make a decision," he said.
Other items included accepting a proposal from the Ministry of Government Relations for Residential Subdivision, with it's associated bylaw going through 1st reading. A bylaw for the establishment of an Economic Development Board saw it's 1st reading as well.