A full agenda was before City Council Monday night as they convened for their regular meeting. 

Before addressing any of the items to be discussed however, Mayor Roy Ludwig insisted on a moment of silence for all those affected by the tragic bus accident near Humboldt.

Things then took on a lighter note, as five different young, talented students performed poetic pieces in front of Council. They'd been selected by the Estevan Public Library from among their competitors at the Estevan and District Music Festival, and delighted the Councillors and Mayor with classics and originals.

Ludwig took note of all the hard work that not only the students, but those that guided them, put into the preparation.

(L-R) Randi and Cameron Milbrandt, Mayor Roy Ludwig, Laura Swirski, Kegan Littlefield, and Zoey Wilson-Elliott. The kids presented their poems before the Mayor and Council members.

"Although these students do a lot of the work, it's only through the good teachings of the parents and tutors that have helped them along," he said, just before the kids took front and center in the chamber.

Then they got down to business, starting with a request from the Town of Lampman and RM of Browning for assistance with Sask 911. With the province switching over to a new emergency call system, smaller communities getting into it are asking for help in getting up to speed. Estevan's EMO Coordinator Helen Fornwald and other first responder services in the Energy City will lend a hand in prepping for the new system, using mock emergencies and such.

The Estevan Area Literacy Group had a request before the members present in the chamber, asking for Council's support as well.

"We charge them $250 a month for the space where they have their meetings. Council has agreed, for one year, to forgo that charge, then at the end of the year we're hoping that they'll be able to get the necessary grants to start paying again," Ludwig explained, adding that the charges will simply be forgiven.

Habitat For Humanity Estevan, already in the process of fundraising for their second house build, also had a letter to Council with a request for $10,000 in monetary support as well as withholding certain licencing and permit fees. A motion was accepted to defer a full decision on the matter to the 2019 budget.

Further feedback rolled in from surrounding communities, this time from Torquay, regarding the decommissioning of the Civic Auditorium.

"They're happy for the extra business. In some cases, where they're running on a razor thin margin, by us giving them the extra ice time it allows them to keep their rinks open," the Mayor observed.

Also passed was a motion to approve an application to the federal government's Smart Cities Challenge, a grant of $250,000 offered as a initiative to find new ways to improve life in the community.

"If we can get this grant, we'll be looking at other options that we can do as a city for employment purposes moving forward. Whether that's manufacturing, setting up a manufacturing base in the city, or other forms of more green energy perhaps. The door is wide open, but it will give us an opportunity have the money to look at some of the other options," Ludwig shared.

Finally, Council passed the first reading of amendments to it's Pet Licensing bylaw. Among the expected changes is lowering the price from $100 per year to a one time $35 fee. However, if the pet is spayed or neutered and you pick it up at the Humane Society, even the fee would be waived.

"Just to encourage everyone that has a pet, to have a license so that we can keep track that, and it's just better for everyone involved. We did make that up with consultation with the Police Board and Chief of Police, input from our Bylaw Enforcement Officer, and the Humane Society."

It was also noted that the renovations to convert a space in the Leisure Center to a Tourism Information Booth are approaching. According to the Mayor and Council members, the plan is to build the new location, then sell the old one and apply those profits to offset the cost of the new. They feel that the proceeds will enable them to break even.

Ludwig also gave a couple proclamations regarding an upcoming Human Values Day and this year's Operation Clean Sweep.



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