Weyburn RM councillor seeks ratepayers’ views on new RM building

To the Editor:

This is an open letter to the ratepayers of the RM of Weyburn No. 67. My name is Ron Fellner, and I am the councillor for Division 2, and have been on council since 2004.

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During my time on council, I have always made a point of consulting with ratepayers for feedback on council decisions.

The RM is looking at a new location and building for the RM office. In my opinion, the RM has four possible options: remain in our current office with no upgrades; remain in the current office with upgrades-renovations; purchase existing building and renovate, or purchase bare land or lot and build a new office.

In November, we looked at an existing building to purchase and renovate. At our December meeting, we had a lively discussion as to what we should do.

One week later, we had a special meeting to make a decision. A vote was taken which a councillor asked to be recorded. It was a split decision, 3-3, with the reeve casting the deciding vote in favour of buying the building. We have now purchased the existing building.

My concern is with the purchase price of the building, and the estimated cost of the renovations that you the taxpayers should be consulted on. If the majority of ratepayers are in favour of the decision, I am fine with that — if not, then we should explore other options.

Council was assured by the reeve and one councillor that if we didn’t proceed with the renovations we could sell the property and not lose any money.

When I heard of the estimated cost of the renovations, I contacted about a dozen ratepayers in my division, none of who were in favour of proceeding, and most thought we should not be in such a big hurry.

If you are interested in this issue, call your councillor, call the reeve, and certainly call me as I’m sure you will get different perspectives from everyone. My cell number is 306-891-9711.

Ron Fellner,

RM of Weyburn councillor