Sunday November 23, 2014

Statue group assisted

City council
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The City of Weyburn council approved entering an agreement with a community-based committee of people who want to establish a statue to honour pioneer women in opening up the area for settlement.

The Pioneer Woman Statue Committee approached both the City and RM of Weyburn for support for the statue as they begin a fundraising drive towards the cost of the statue.

Mayor Debra Button said some of the same people who helped spearhead the statue honouring Tommy Douglas are now behind this new committee, including Isabelle Butters, Ross McMurtry and Stan Runne, among others.

The committee is asking for a location along the boardwalk, possibly near the Soo Line Historical Museum, and want the city to take on the responsibility of maintaining the statue, and providing the cost of a concrete base.

The committee also asked the city to help provide seed money as interim financing of up to $30,000 as they embark on their fundraising efforts.

“They are going to be raising a significant amount of money for this project,” said Mayor Button. “I think this is exciting to recognize the spirit of pioneer women, and the strength it took to come to this province. I’m excited to see what the final product will look like.”

She added that knowing this group behind the committee, she feels they will have the funds raised for the statue in a short time.

“I’m excited too,” added Coun. Nancy Styles, saying she’s looking forward to how this statue will enhance the beauty of the boardwalk pathway area.

The city has agreed to issue tax receipts for donations made to the statue project, for donations over $20, while the committee will be solely responsible for the collection of donations, and will be responsible for the capital cost and design of the statue. If there are any funds remaining after the statue is installed, the funds will be turned over to the city to go towards the landscaping and related work for the statue.

The statue will be designed and built by Don and Shirley Begg of Cochrane, Alta., who have offered to assist with the installation of the statue.

City council gave their support to the upcoming “Day of Pink” anti-bullying campaign spearheaded by the Canadian Red Cross with the city’s schools, with a city-wide walk to take place on Wednesday, April 9.

George Barker of the Red Cross attended council on Monday evening, and said the day would begin with the gathering of the city’s school children at 10:30 a.m. on Third Street in front of the Court House, and the walk will begin at 11 a.m., heading south through the downtown area.

He said people have asked him, “Will we ever get rid of bullying?”
He admits maybe this isn’t possible, but he noted this campaign is all about educating the public and children in every school about the harm that bullying does, and how it can be prevented.

“This isn’t just one day a year like Christmas, this is every day,” said Barker, where people can say no matter who they are, what colour their skin is or what church they go to, they are respected, and changes can be made for those who do the bullying, those who are bullied, and those who stand back and watch.

Coun. Dick Michel said he’s been asked by taxpayers why there is any tax increase at all this year when the local economy is doing well, and asked Martino Verhaeghe, director of planning and development, if he could explain some of the rationale for the 3.5 per cent tax increase.

“We’ve been working on this issue; generally, growth costs are partially covered by offsite fees, to help pay for the services that are needed,. There’s a portion of the costs which need to be borne by the taxpayers,” said Verhaeghe.

He noted that in April of last year, council approved the offsite levy of $86,000 which helps pay for some of the infrastructure needed for new lot development as the city grows and expands.

Without this fee, city taxpayers would be looking at a much higher tax increase as the city is projected to grow significantly in the coming years. The fees also help provide upgrades and new facilities, not only for water and sewer services, but for such facilities as a new fieldhouse for sports, as the city is planning to build in the coming years.

The city’s Airport Board is looking to possibly expand the number of hangars located at North Weyburn.

Jesse Watamanuk of the City of Weyburn will consult with Transport Canada and Altus Geomatics to discuss having the airport surveyed for future lot development.

The Airport Board was told there are continuing inquiries from individuals who are interested in building new hangars at the airport.

The 2014 budget for the airport has been approved, which will include the installation of new security gates for the airport in 2014, new highway and entrance signage, and a project that will see jet fuel made available at the Weyburn Airport.

For the jet fuel project, there is discussion about the City of Weyburn installing the jet fuel tank, with a partnership with a local business which would be responsible for supplying the fuel and operating the system.

In other council business, tenders were called for the replacement of the flooring in the fire hall/public works shop.

The tender was awarded to Stoncor for the amount of $53,400 plus GST, over the initial estimate of $50,000 for the cost of the project. Facilities manager Greg Button said he would be able to find efficiencies in other areas of the facilities budget to enable this flooring project to go ahead; this would be the same flooring as is used in Crescent Point Place’s lobby.

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