As we flip the calendar to officially kick off another 365 days, this time with the moniker of 2018, we also gaze back at some of the headlines that defined 2017 in Estevan. This is by no means a comprehensive look at the year that was. If you would like to re-live the memories in more detail, you can peruse our news archives, right here.

1. Canada Celebrates 150 years

There was no shortage of things to do or places to go in the Estevan area on Canada Day, with celebrations in surrounding communities and a couple within city limits lined up for people to enjoy.
For Canada’s big 150, the City of Estevan had some fun planned, though it took place Friday, June 30 to keep from competing with Bienfait and local Kinsmen/Kinettes celebrations.
Things started 3 p.m. at Affinity Place with a kids’ zone featuring bouncy castles and other children’s entertainment, then at 8 p.m. games like badminton and basketball took place street-side at the facility.
At 9 p.m. Chris Henderson as well as Third Degree Birnz took the stage just south of the Civic Auditorium to offer some live entertainment until roughly 11:30 when the Estevan Legion members rose the Canadian flag to sing Happy Birthday and O Canada.

2. A Record Year For Weather

The skies were alive in 2017, as blizzards and snowstorms raged throughout the winter, rains held back and tornadoes shredded their way across the southeast in the summer, and most recently, mother nature made icicles out of anyone who dared step outside.

3. A New Fire Hall For The Estevan Fire Department

It was a big year for the  Estevan Fire Department as they purchased and renovated the former Murray GM building on 13th Avenue, turning it into a modern, state of the art fire station.
 
It was also a busy year for moter vehicle accidents. Icy roads and impaired driving both contributed to injuries and unfortunate fatalities, as did the intersection of the truck bypass and Highway 47.
 
2017 also saw the installation of Rick Davies as the new Deputy Fire Chief, becoming Fire Chief Dale Feser's right hand man.
 
4. Crack Down On Drugs And Impaired Driving
 
Police Chief Paul Ladoucer made waves in Janurary when he introduced tougher impaired driving laws, which included permanent vehicle seizures in some cases. 
 
In March, the EPS also investigated and arrested an ECS teacher, Troy Ruzicka, who was then charged with child luring, among various other sexual offences.
 
Numerous drug busts, some hefty, were conducted, with the result being word on the street that Estevan was no longer safe to be a drug dealer. Other high profile cases handled by the EPS included the arrest of a City employee for fraud in Feburary. He later plead guilty.
 
The year also saw the installment of former Inspector Murray Cowen as the Deputy Chief of Police, and the addition of a K9 unit once again to the force.
 
5. Major Projects Completed By Organizations
 
A couple of non profits in Estevan had big stories in 2017.
 
The Kinsmen and Kinettes of Estevan were proud as punch when their new outdoor rink at the Kin Park was
 
completed.
 
Meanwhile, Habitat For Humanity completed their first house build for a grateful new tenant.
 
Habitat for Humanity plans to begin all over again on a new house, while the Kinsmen hope to add to their park in the new year.
 
6. King Street Rehabilitation
 
The patience of motorists in the City of Estevan was tested to it's limits in the summer as King Street was blocked off and freshened up.
 
Other projects undertaken and accomplished included laying asphalt on Sister Roddy Road, and the installation of the controversial speed humps on Wellock Road.
 
7. Collins Family Has A Road In Their Name

Bernie Collins was an educator, he was a principal at Sacred Heart School. He got into municipal politics, he served a number of years as Councillor, and served as Mayor. He later went onto be our MP in Ottawa. 
Bernie has always wanted for everyone to get involved in the community and have their voice heard. And now you can drive down Collins Road to honor such a voice in our community.

8. Living Skies Air Show

The Estevan Airport hosted the Living Skies Airshow September 17.
Due to the hard work of the airshow committee, they were able to put on a top notch airshow. Building on the success of last year's show, they we're very excited about the caliber of airshow they brought to our community. The aircrafts were low and slow and they were right over the airport. So you wanted to get their early to get a good spot. The show also included the revealing of a wooden monument dedicated to the airmen that died in a fiery plane crash at the old Estevan South Airport in 1946. It is named, 'Forever In The Clouds.'

9. Fresh Air Fitness

Healthy living without touching the pocketbook is the goal of the new Fresh Air Fitness Facility, located at Woodlawn Park.
August 27th saw its grand opening, and the project's leaders Peggy Rohatyn and Debbie Knight could hardly contain their excitement about the milestone.
They put a lot of work and effort into it, but we also must acknowledge what Randy Franke (of KRJ Fabricating) has contributed. He's fabricated all the equipment. However, more is yet to come, it won't be finished for a few years yet. They plan to continue fundraising and adding on, and they would look into any recommendations presented to them.
The facilities are to be open year round, and will consist of a wide range of fitness and health activity stations located around the place.

10. $9.4 Million Upgrade to its Water Treatment System

November 24, the City of Estevan marked the official completion of construction of the first phase of a $9.4-million upgrade to its water treatment system, an ongoing project funded in part by the federal and provincial governments that will help safeguard the environment and improve the community’s quality of life.

The Government of Saskatchewan was proud to contribute up to $3.1 million toward this important infrastructure project, which when completed and fully operational will improve the quality of drinking water for Estevan residents, contribute to protecting the environment, and keep Saskatchewan strong, thanks to partners at the federal, provincial, and municipal level working together for their citizens.
Construction on the first phase began in June 2017 and focused on the residuals management portion of the project. Work included building settling ponds to store the residuals and the by-product generated by the water treatment plant to help protect the Souris River watershed. This first phase is now operational.

11. Highway 39 Twinning

It was a major year for construction in the southeast, with perhaps the largest project being the twinning of highway 39. The work was done by a local contractor, Panteluk Construction.

12. Rehab of King Street

A portion of the arterial road was closed from May 1 to June 6, so that it could be widened to two lanes in each direction between Bannatyne Avenue and Pine Avenue. Previously eastbound traffic bottle-necked to one lane between the two avenues.
To make the brief stretch of King Street wide enough to accommodate four lanes of traffic, crews had to push back the northern boulevards of King Street. And once the widening work was complete, fresh asphalt was applied, creating a smooth surface.

13. Kin Park Completed

The outdoor, permanent rink at the Kin-Park was completed with all new boards. Many donations started flowing in to help complete this project started by the Estevan Kin-club.

14. Angel Tree’s Gift of Toys

With over 370 children in line to receive gifts, the city rallied once again to give toys for the Angel Tree Campaign. And with everything Estevan does is was a great success.

15. Civic Auditorium Controversy

It was a conflicting year at times for Mayor Roy Ludwig and City Council. An uproar ensued when the aging Civic Auditorium was abruptly closed in November due to safety concerns raised following an inspection. After lobbying from various user groups and perusing more reports, the City decided to reopen the doors pending insurance approval.

The Council had a lot of other challenging items on their plate in 2017 as well, especially related to the provincial budget.

16. Aboriginal Festival at Centennial Park June 21st.

 National Aboriginal Day and Estevan celebrated with a free BBQ and celebration at Centennial Park. It was a chance for everyone to come together to celebrate a culture that was at one time suppressed.
The wonderful celebration featured Aboriginal Dancers and Metis Jiggers. If you are not familiar with our First Nations and Metis culture, this was a great opportunity to come out and experience native dancing.

 

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