Highlights from the February 11 meeting of Estevan City Council:
*Woodlawn Regional Park manager Nathan Puffalt submitted the park's budget requests for this year. Puffalt is seeking $30,000 to improve the access road to the park's Boundary Dam campground. He has also requested $25,000 to install lighting, construct fencing and upgrade the picnic tables at the Woodlawn Athletic Park.
*Estevan Arts Council board member Eric Pullam presented the organization's budget for 2013, and highlighted some of the needs that they have.
*A request for financial support from Child Find Saskatchewan was referred to the police board.
*Members of Council expressed their thoughts on the new agriculture and oil shipping facility that is slated to be constructed near Northgate. They view it as an exciting addition to the southeast, but they have concerns with an increase in heavy truck traffic that will be created by the facility. Council believes it's another reason that a truck bypass is needed for Estevan.
*CUPE Local 726, which represents the City of Estevan's employees, has sent a letter to Council to begin negotiations on a new collective bargaining. The last agreement between the two sides expired on December 31, 2012.
*Stats Canada has sent a letter to the City, offering an explanation for how they tabulated Estevan's population in the last Census. Most people believed that the Census figure for Estevan's population should have been higher than 11,054, and that the Saskatchewan Health Card numbers, which peg Estevan's population at well over 12,000, are more reliable. Stats Can. said they didn't missing dwellings, and they properly coded the dwellings. The agency also noted that Estevan's response rate was excellent. Those who are temporarily residing in Estevan are counted in their permanent place of residence, rather than where they are working at the time of the Census.
*City treasurer Tim Leson submitted his final financial statements for 2012. Leson noted that the City is still looking at Leisure Services to ensure that all of the revenues and expenses are filed the right accounts. Audited financial statements will be released later this year.
*Council repealed a bylaw that would have increased solid waste utility rates. Council will wait until the new residential garbage collection contract is awarded later this year before they make a decision on the solid waste utility rates.
*Five building permits with a total value of $1.66 million were issued in January. There were two single-family, one multi-family, and two industrial permits issued. It's a significant increase from the first month of last year, when just one permit was granted.
*Nelson Motors was awarded a tender for a new riding mower for $20,367.
*Several councillors discussed the need to move forward on curbside recycling when the new waste collection tender is awarded later this year. The multi-material recycling depot in Estevan has had an ongoing increase in activity, and many people want to see curbside recycling come to the city.