The City Of Estevan hasn't received any results yet from Communities In Bloom.
Rod March, Estevan's Parks and Facilities Manager says, "We're expecting reports soon, but when the judges were here they were really positive in their review and indicated that we are ready for the next step of the program which is evaluation in a competitive format. We are really happy to hear that. We'll look at the results of their judging and I'll make recommendations to council based on the findings of that report."
With hot temperatures the city received this summer there were questions brought up in regards to watering grass around the city.
March shares, "We did increase our irrigation to the parks. There are certain areas that are irrigated and its a balancing act to please people who want green healthy grass verse conservation of resources. There are enough people to say, "No, we want green grass in certain areas." We have type one, type two and type three properties in the city. The type one properties are irrigated, aerated and fertilized on an annual basis. We have to keep the irrigation up to meet the expectations of the citizens. "
"It's pretty basic in terms of irrigation needs and that sort of thing. Grass needs about an inch of water a week for a healthy lawn. Water in the night time, less frequent heavier watering is better than light high-frequency watering to promote deep root development. In terms of weed, it's important to point out the extensive efforts by the bylaw officer, their diligence in forcing weed issues on private property."
"Controlling that helps with reducing weed population and thereby reducing the amount of herbicides we use. We've cut the herbicide use almost 40% over the last three years of what we have been using in the past. Part of that is the promotion of healthy lawns and working with the bylaw to reduce the number of weeds out there. We live on prairie grassland, there is going to be so-called weed species, which by definition is any unwanted plant."
"Right now there are extensive efforts in reducing bull thistles, sow thistles, Canada thistles and all those invasive species we have in the valley, that we are legally obligated to look after. We are working away on that and just want to point out that the bylaw is doing an excellent job at enforcing the private properties issues where some of these weeds originate."
With all the landscaping around the city done some citizens wonder how it's decided what is being done.
"When we are talking about landscaping costs and stuff like that, all the improvements to the city are done under the budget that is approved by the council. The public is allowed to provide input on the submissions during that process in December of each year."
March adds, "We rarely get any input during the process of the budget deliberations so we always invite people to come down and have their say. It's a balancing act of council to say let's make the area attractive for new people and new businesses to come in and we have to balance that with conservation of water resources and everything else."
"We have been doing most of these improvements that you see through efforts of finding efficiencies in our programs, generous donations by community groups, citizens, and grants. We are allowing the budget to stretch further so we can complete more work and council has been very supportive with what I'm overseeing and improving the city's appearance. The mandate I have is to continue to improve the city within those budget allotments and opportunities to find more efficient ways of doing things and stretch dollars accordingly."
"Having good local contractors and everyone sees Rock Solid Landscaping out there and they are doing a great job. Pride Upkeep as well, continually provide excellent service at reasonable rates for the city so we are very happy with the work they are doing."
March also explains the repairs to the outside wall of the Leisure Centre, "The brick was falling off over the years on the south side of the leisure centre. It was taken down last year for safety reasons as it wouldn't take long till they all fell off. Now we are working on the north side because that was beginning to fall and we will be putting a new face on it as well."
The city is still in the process of re-facing the wall.