The City of Weyburn’s Centennial Celebration committee is busily making their plans for marking Weyburn’s 100th as a city in 2013, including a kickoff event of a New Year’s levee on New Year’s Day, 2013.
City council was apprised of some of these plans at their meeting on Oct. 9, in addition to the details unveiled on Oct. 3 with the launching of the centennial website, and the introduction of the event’s coordinator, Sharon Elliott.
According to the plans which are being put together by the committee, the Weyburn Rotary Club has agreed to host the levee on Jan. 1, which will run from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Legion Hall, with punch and anniversary cake.
Some details are still being put together, including what entertainment might be provided, and the possibility of presenting certificates to recognize significant birthdays and anniversaries.
Committee member Coun. Rob Stephanson said the “signature event” will be held over the August 3rd long weekend.
Again, some of the details are being worked out, such as the possibility of having two venues for the Saturday night, one with background music to allow for visiting and socializing, and the other for dancing to a band. A service club will be approached about catering the supper for this event as well.
Two other dates which will have significance for the centennial are June 15, with the Cruise Night and Walk of Fame unveiling to be held, and New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2013, which will feature “White Night” celebrations at year-end.
Meanwhile, the city has provided an office for Elliott on the second floor of City Hall, and she will likely be manning the office at least two days a week, said Stephanson.
The committee has also indicated they are asking the public for help in finding chairpersons for their subcommittees and for the committee board.
Weyburn city council approved a request for $250 to the “Friends of the Navy” which is putting up a monument to recognize the loss of both the HMCS Regina and HMCS Weyburn, both of which were sunk during the Second World War.
The ship Weyburn was sunk on Feb. 22, 1943 off the coast of Gibraltar, and 12 Canadians sailors, including the captain, lost their lives.
The Friends of the Navy is headed up by former Regina mayor Doug Archer, who indicated in a letter to council that the plan is to set up a monument to commemorate these two ships which were named for Saskatchewan communities.
The monument will be located in Regina near the front entrance of the HMCS Queen at the Queen Building; it will be installed in the spring of 2013 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Naval Reserve in Regina.
The total project cost is estimated at $20,000, of which half the cost will be covered by Veterans Affairs through their Community War Memorial program. The City of Regina will be asked for a grant of $2,500, with the remaining funds to be raised by private donations.
This year’s tax enforcement list was approved by council, in the latest of a number of steps in a government-prescribed process to recover unpaid taxes.
City manager Bob Smith noted the province’s Tax Enforcement Act makes provision for municipalities to get payment of unpaid taxes.
He pointed out it’s a lengthy process, and the property owner is given a number of opportunities to pay the taxes; first, a notice is sent out to pay the taxes, and if nothing is done after 60 days, the city can put a lien on the property, and after a six-month period council can then serve notice (with another six-month period) that the taxes need to be paid or the property will be sold off to recover the taxes.
Finance director Jon Michaud pointed out that at any time during any of these six-month warning periods the property owner can pay the taxes, or call the city to make payment arrangements. This year there will be 11 properties on the list, which Michaud indicated is typical in a given year for the city.
The long-term goals for the city’s Parks Board were discussed, including the progress being made currently on the Tatagwa Parkway, with the extension of the boardwalk from Third Street over to the Soo Line Museum.
Council was told that the boardwalk extension project should be about 90-per-cent complete by freeze-up, with paving, power and lighting to be done this fall.
The installation of a gazebo-rest area will likely not be done until spring 2013, due to delivery time of the structure and availability of the contractor.
Long-term, the Parks Board wants to extend the trail system for Tatagwa Parkway across First Avenue NE (Highway 13) at the former Souris Valley grounds entrance. The committee noted there are safety concerns with traffic heading in or headed out to the intersection of Highway 13 and 39, and discussion will be held with the Engineering department about installing a pedestrian crossing sign with overhead warning lights. A sign may also be installed to warn pedestrians that they are approaching a highway.
The committee also noted with the annexation of land on the city’s east side for “The Creeks” development, the Tatagwa Trail can be extended south from Highway 13 East to the buffer located south of Montgomery and Laing Crescents; the future plans are to have to the trail extend down 16th Street to Railway Avenue, and south from Third Street to eventually loop around the Museum.
Also, on the former Souris Valley grounds where Nicor is building the Riverwood development, Nicor will be incorporating park pathways into the development, with a view to connect up with the Tatagwa Parkway trail system.
In an update from the Building Department, council was informed on the level of construction in the city.
As of the end of September, the city issued 130 building permits worth a total of $30,312,700, with a total of 174 dwelling units created worth $24,834,000.
This is about 45 per cent of the worth of construction of a year ago, when there were 148 permits issued worth $66,805,150.
Of the dwelling units created this year, 19 are for single family dwellings, worth $4,745,000, and 155 are multiple family dwellings worth $20,089,000.
The city’s director of planning and development, Martino Verhaeghe, noted one factor for the dollar amount being higher last year is that the Comp construction and renovation was part of that amount last year, even though the work is ongoing through the current year.