Highlights from the June 25 meeting of Estevan City Council:
*CP Rail has removed the 70-kilometre Bromhead line that runs west of Estevan from its three-year plan, which will allow for a short-line railway to proceed.
*Bruce Balcom is the new public works manager for the City of Estevan. He'll start on July 3. Balcom brings extensive experience in water maintenance, waste water and public works. Prior to entering public works, Balcom was in the Canadian Forces.
*Byron Mack from MNP Chartered Accountants presented the 2011 consolidated financial statement to Council. The City had a little more than $1.5 million in cash as of December 31, 2011, which was down from more than $2.8 million last year. But the bank indebtedness was $3.275 million last year, compared with $7.1 million the year before. The City had an overall surplus of $194,889 in 2011, compared with more than $9 million in 2010, but the surplus in 2010 was largely due to government grants for Spectra Place. The City also generated more money through land sales last year.
*Twenty-four building permits for $5.24 million were issued in May, bringing the total umber of permits for this year to 51. The overall value is more than $17 million.
*First reading was given to a bylaw for Phase 3 of the Dominion Heights subdivision, which will be developed by Trimount Developments. The subdivision will have 35 single-family lots, 18 residential lots for duplexes, 35 townhouses, four four-storey condominiums, a commercial building to support the subdivision; and a future fire hall or the northern half of the city.
*First reading was also given to a bylaw that will allow the Meadows subdivision in northwest Estevan to proceed. The latest plan for the subdivision calls for 1,712 housing units to be constructed, which is up from the 1,340 units initially planned.
*Second and third readings were given to a bylaw that will allow for a six-unit townhouse project to proceed on Coronation Street in south-central Estevan.
*Glen Peterson Construction was awarded two road works tender. The first is for drainage replacement and road resurfacing on Alexandra Avenue. The project came in at $746,787.80, which was well above the budgeted amount of $638,135.52. The other was resurfacing of the southern half of Milne Crescent for $614,202, which was well above the budgeted amount of $400,000. Councillor Chris Istace questioned why the two projects were over budget, especially Milne Crescent, since the northern half of Milne was completed last year for less money. He noted that the overexpenditures will eat up almost all of the revenues generated by the one mill increase in property taxes. Council will defer several projects, including a software purchase, upgrades at City Hall and traffic lights at the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Devonian Street.
*Council approved seven work order changes at the new water reservoir that will add approximately $80,000 to the cost of the project. A $7,300 service location will be shared by the City and SaskPower. Councillor Roy Ludwig would like to see the City reimbursed by SaskEnergy for $35,000, due to work that was needed when SaskEnergy didn't bury its lines.
*Three readings were given to a pair of bylaws. One will limit parking on the east side of Souris Avenue between Eight Street and Smith Street to two hours. The other will reduce the number of handicapped parking stalls on Fourth Street in downtown Estevan to four.