Plans set for Weyburn’s municipal election in fall

Weyburn city council approved the plans set in place for this fall’s municipal elections, which will be held on the new date of Nov. 9.

Council approved a number of details relating to holding the elections, which include the school board elections, following the recommendations of the city’s returning officer, Donette Richter, at Monday evening’s meeting via Zoom.

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The recommendations include that one central location will be used for voting, namely the Cugnet Centre, with the hours of voting set from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This will also be the City’s first election to use automated vote tabulation equipment, and a new bylaw will need to be passed to allow for its use.

The City has obtained election systems and software at a cost of $11,775, which provides for three voting machines, ballots and supplies.

“This will really speed up the vote counting and possibly also the accuracy. Each ballot will be entered into an automated machine, and we should have the results very quickly,” said Richter.

Voters will register at the polls on election, and the names of the candidates on the ballots will be in a random order to be drawn.

Candidates for council will not have to file a criminal record check, their occupation will no longer be listed with their names on the ballots, and candidates will not need to disclose campaign contributions or expenses.

Mail-in ballots will be offered as well, which will allow people to vote if they know they won’t be able to vote on election day, or are homebound. There is provision for homebound and special polls, such as those who live in long-term care centres.

The advance poll will be held at City Hall on Saturday, Oct. 31 from noon to 5 p.m., and on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 5 to 9 p.m.

A special poll will be held at the Tatagwa View long-term care centre from 10 to 11 a.m., and at the Weyburn Special Care Home from 1-2 p.m., both on Friday, Nov. 6, and then at the Weyburn General Hospital from 10-11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 9.

• In other council business, administration advised they are applying for funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, for a cost-shared grant for work at the landfill.

The grant will be for the leachate collection system at the landfill. The provincial government advised the City that the initial review of their application has been completed, and the next step was a resolution by council approving the grant application, including that the City will hold an open tendering process and will manage the construction of the project.

The project’s costs will be shared, with one-third paid by the federal government, one-third by the provincial government, and one-third by the City.

• City engineer Jen Wilkinson talked about the level of the Nickle Lake reservoir, and noted while it is not quite at the full level, it is still at an “acceptable level”.

Showing the levels of the lake from past years, she noted there was an above-average runoff in 2017 and 2019, and this year the runoff was below average. The full level is 563 metres, and it is currently just below that.

“We want to remind residents they will need to observe the water conservation bylaw,” said Wilkinson.

Under the bylaw, odd-numbered residences can water on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, while even-numbered residences can water on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, with Wednesdays to be a break from any watering.