The City of Estevan came through 2017 not without its share of challenges. 

"The year 2017 was very interesting for operation for the City of Estevan municipal," explained City Manager, Jeff Ward, "mainly due to the budget impacts that were handed down to us early this year. The province changed a lot of their models in regards to the grants in lieu. We were affected the third hardest in the province. we lost approximately $650,000. If there wasn't a cap of 30% of our operating grant, we would have lost $900,000."

"Even going into next year, we're still not 100% sure if that 30% cap is going to be there or not, so that's a concern."

"Also, at the same time, we went through a very significant reassessment. I know everyone in town has felt that. We've been lobbying the government to change the assessment cycle from a four year cycle to a two year cycle. In commodity based towns such as us with a boom and bust cycle, it really makes no sense that there is a two year lag on a four year cycle."

He added that some commercial properties went up by 100-200% while some saw a decrease.

It wasn't all bad news, however. The City had the opportunity to purchase the old Murray GM building and use it for the new Fire Hall.

"I think most of the public has been very supportive of that especially now that you see it done. You see that all our equipment is in one place and the firefighters have an awesome facility to work out of now."

Another major project this past summer was the resurfacing of King Street.

"It was noted when this council was elected that King Street was one of the main arterioles left that was pretty rough. They did start a three to four year plan to complete King Street so we completed a very significant portion this year form 13th all the way to Pine. There was some concerns with the lines and the grading. Unfortunately, we couldn't widen to the south due to the large amount of utilities factors on the south side but I think as people get used to it and our crews are very conscious that when snow comes, we clear those lines and make sure the tracks are right, but having the four lanes through east and west is very beneficial."

Another major project was the waste water treatment upgrades. 

"This is a project that is been in the works for over a decade. This is something that has been planned for awhile, is the residuals management so that the soot and the other byproducts that were being released into the water are now being captured in the settling ponds. As we move forward, the second phase of this will be the second intact from Rafferty Dam. this is crucial especially when we see what happened in Prince Albert and North Battleford in regards to their water sourse being compromised. Having two separate, distinct water sources is going to be very beneficial to the city moving forward."

Most recently, the City's decision to close and then reopen the Civic Auditorium made headlines around the area.

"Council is wanting to keep this building open, we just need to make sure we're insured and that liability coverage is on that building. We're looking at all options. There will be an RFP coming out in regards to a more in depth structural analysis and releasing some of the tension on the bracing rods. Hopefully we get approval from insurance very quickly and then we can move forward."

More Local News

City's Proposed 2019 Budget Includes No Increase In Taxes Or Utility Rates

The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases. The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and…

Pharmacies Running Out Of Flu Vaccine

It’s been a tough flu season in Canada and now some pharmacies in the Estevan area have been running out of the flu vaccine. Jeff Hilderman at the Estevan Pharmasave has seen his pharmacy run out of…

Three Ballots Needed Each for Police Board, Remuneration Board

At City Council's regular meeting Monday night, two boards needed people on it from the public at large - and the results were so close there were multiple ballots needed. It took three votes for…

Building Permits In City Down In 2018

Building permits for 2018 were down significantly from 2017, Estevan city council learned Monday night. The monthly building permit report gave an overview of how many building permits the city…

Festival Of Lights Shone Bright in 2018

The Festival of lights had a great turnout in 2018. They jumped from 11 participants in 2017 to 25 participants this year in 2018 and had an abundance of positive feedback from people driving through…

*Update* SaskTel Experiencing Long Distance Issues

“All circuits are busy. Please hang up and try your call again later.” This is the message many across Saskatchewan are hearing this morning when trying to make a long distance phone call or a call a…

SHA Advice for Those With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is commonly known as winter depression. While the winter months, in particular, can be challenging for those who are dealing with S.A.D., the disorder is not necessarily…

Province Seeks Public Input on Sask Libraries Engagement Report

As part of the library engagement process, the public is now invited to provide their feedback on Legislative Secretary Terry Dennis’s Report of Saskatchewan Public Libraries Engagement. Over the…

Geothermal Plant Coming To Estevan

Friday's announcement of the Federal Government allotting $25 million towards a geothermal project caught many in the southeast by surprise, but it's a project that's been well in the making for a…

DiscoverEstevan.com is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login