Highlights from the November 19 meeting of Estevan City Council:
*It was the first open meeting for Council since the October 24 civic election, and the first as mayor for Roy Ludwig.
*Council approved the list of committee appointments for 2013. Each member of council will sit on a variety of committees throughout their term.
*A request was tabled from the Walk for MS to have the walk inside of Spectra Place next year, free of charge. Council would like to see event organizers find sponsors to cover the cost of renting Spectra Place. In previous years, the walk has been outdoors, but it was moved inside Spectra Place in 2012 due to wet weather. Spectra is now the preferred site for the walk.
*SaskPower has denied Council's request to have SaskPower pay some costs connected with road maintenance and repairs in the City. Council believes that SaskPower should be paying some costs due to increased traffic, particularly heavy trucks, during construction of the carbon capture and storage project at the Boundary Dam Power Station. SaskPower believes that the project will have sufficient economic benefits for the City that the Crown corporation shouldn't have to pay.
*Council is hopeful that they will be able to complete some work through the Urban Highway Connector Program next year. Estevan's request for money this year to resurface Highway 47 through the community was denied, and it doesn't appear that Estevan will be included in the program next year, either. Council would like to complete work on Souris Avenue North next year, and then be reimbursed by the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure at a later date.
*The Estevan Chamber of Commerce has received the green light from Council to proceed with their signage audit. Form Media will complete the work for about $19,000. Community development manager Michel Cyrenne said the audit is needed because many of the signs are outdated, and people who aren't familiar with Estevan have a hard time finding buildings and services in the community.
*Council approved the annual shift from front yard to back yard garbage pick-up for several streets and avenues in the northeast and southwest corners. Blowing snow in the back alleys make it difficult for garbage trucks to travel down the alleys. The front yard pick-up will continue until next spring.
*Councillor Greg Hoffort suggested that roads in front of senior citizens homes should be made Priority 1 or 2 for snow clearing, as opposed to priority 3.
*The City will be revamping their website for about $28,000. It will have a similar design to the new Spectra Place website.
*Seven building permits, with an approximate total value of $1.5 million, were issued in October. There have been 107 permits worth about $26 million in the first 10 months of the year. City manager Jim Puffalt said they are still waiting for a couple sizable commercial building permits to come through.
*Revised tenders were approved for work on Sister Roddy Road and a northwest sewer main for the new Essex subdivision. The Sister Roddy Road project came in at $113,600; the budget was $100,000. The sewer main project was $374,500, compared to the budgeted amount of $182,000. The projects are vital for the northwest corner of the city.
*Council gave the green light for the new Tim Hortons restaurant at the Estevan Shoppers Mall to open, even though landscaping work that was conditional of the project won't be finished until next year. The company will also have to provide a performance deposit. Councillor Dennis Moore voiced concern with a turning radius at one of the restaurant's exits.
*The water treatment plant residuals facility will be delayed for one year, as it is still currently in the design phase. It's expected the project will be included in the 2014 budget.
*Councillor Lori Carr would like to see stiffer attendance requirements for council members, and that if a member misses more than three meetings, for any reason, they forfeit their stipend for future missed meetings.