Monday November 24, 2014

Residents urged to help keep city clean

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Longtime Weyburn councillor Dick Michel has put out the call to city residents to get back to a habit of cleaning up around the city, after noting a lot of sights he doesn’t like to see in recent weeks.

Coun. Michel made the comments at city council on Monday evening, following a report from the city’s Environmental Resources committee, which has absorbed the Clean Up committee under its wing, plus has been fielding concerns from citizens about littering.

One item detailed a littering problem at a city business with waste being dumped on their site during non-business hours. The owners of the business have been cleaning up the refuse and end up having to pay the tipping fees at the landfill.

The committee recommended that the business owner be advised to put up appropriate signage, as well as to put up security cameras, so that those who are dumping the garbage can be charged the cost to take it to the landfill.

Coun. Winston Bailey notes the city has done this at the recycling bins site on East Avenue, to prevent the dumping of garbage at that site.

In terms of the cleanup campaign, they listed the Hazardous Waste Day, which will be held this weekend, on Saturday, May 31 at the Weyburn Fire Hall-Workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; SARCAN will also be open during this time, only to accept electronics and paint.

Coun. Michel brought up his concerns then, noting that a few years ago Weyburn and Estevan competed with the annual Golden Garbage Can contest, which Weyburn often won, but now there is no competition anymore, and thus maybe no incentive is left to residents to do a cleanup of the community.

“I thought that was a good thing,” he said of the competition. “I do a lot of walking and see a lot of things I don’t like. I think people need a bit of a boost to get things going again.”

Coun. Nancy Styles, who sits on the city’s Parks Board and is formerly of the Environmental committee, agreed with him, saying the city residents need a focus to help them get motivated and take pride in keeping the community clean again.

“People need to take personal responsibility for the trash. There’s a lot of garbage around the city; people need to have some pride in the city, and don’t litter. It’s as simple as taking the wrapper off a candy bar, and putting it in your pocket to throw it out at home rather than throwing it on the ground,” said Coun. Styles.

“It’s very costly getting the parks crew out to clean up the ditches,” she added.

Coun. Laura Morrissette added one of the reasons the committee took on the Clean Up Committee is because there have been fewer and fewer volunteers coming out in recent years to help the committee with the actual clean-up, and organizing activities around that.

She noted a lot of groups that used to help out, like Weyburn Minor Ball with their Green Day cleanup, and Scouts and Girl Guides, are very busy with lots of activities, but recommended if any of these (or other groups) wanted to do a cleanup at some point this spring or summer, they are welcome to do that and help keep the community clean.

In relation to recycling, the committee had a letter from SARCAN noting that the Weyburn SARCAN has assisted in keeping a lot of garbage out of the city landfill, with their two recycling programs in particular.

With the collection and recycling of old electronics (everything from old TVs, stereos and computers to old cell phones or fax machines), a program which began in February of 2007, SARCAN has been able to keep a total of 821,566 pounds out of the landfill, with 137,095 pounds just in the last year alone.

Since the inception of the paint recycling program, SARCAN has collected 36,300 litres of paint, not including the paint that people take home to reuse.

In the report from the city’s Airport Board, council was told that surveying of new lots has been carried out at the airport, with the prospect of new hangars to go up for housing aircraft.

Altus Geomatics surveyed out 11 new lots at the airport, with each lot about 50 feet wide, and these will accommodate three or four new hangars, depending on proposals for construction.

The board has asked if additional surveying could be done to identify existing property lines at the airport.

The owner of an older hangar, No. 20, told the board he intends to sell the hangar. The potential purchaser wishes to demolish the old hangar and build a new one to store an aircraft. The board approved this, with the condition that the old hangar be demolished by Sept. 30 of this year.

Hangar numbering is to be completed by May 31st, and upcoming improvements to be seen at the airport include the installation and wiring for a jet fuel tank, for highway and entrance signage for the airport, and new security gates and fencing are to be completed in the near future once the contractor is available to do the job. Recapping was included in the city’s tender for paving, and is to be done this year as well.

The City’s Facilities committee is looking at a number of projects, including making repairs to the track at the Comprehensive School, and a number of maintenance items for city facilities which will be looked after this year.

Coun. Michel said he had walked on the Comp track recently and is concerned with some cracks that are appearing there.

Noting the track was built in 2004 for the hosting of the Summer Games in Weyburn, he said the track has mostly held up very well in the time since then, with $5,000 being set aside each year for the eventual replacement of the track in a few years time.

“The track is in good shape, and it’s cushioned, which is very nice for jogging on,” said Coun. Michel.

A company has been contacted about doing repairs, but the average temperature has to be at least 20 degrees C before it can be done, so the repairs will likely be done in June.

Plans for a new water spray park in River Park are continuing; a funding request to Cenovus may be looked at in mid-June, plus Leisure Services director Mathew Warren has applied for two provincial grants to help out with the project.

Some of the facility project upgrades which have or will take place this year include new windows for City Hall, the police station and the Workshop-Fire Hall; flooring has been installed at the police station and the Workshop-Fire Hall. Pigeon control, which was approved by council recently, has begun at the Weyburn Public Library, and the Weyburn Leisure Centre.

City Hall will also be getting a new security camera and key card system, which was approved by council at their May 12 meeting, and roof leaks in the mayor’s office were also repaired. The boiler replacement at the Leisure Centre will take place between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15, with Don’s Plumbing to do the work, and pool light replacement is to be done by Sept. 15.

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