This past year was exciting and memorable, with big stories happening on a regular basis. And 2014 will be a great year, too. Here are some reasons to be excited about 2014, and some of the stories that you can expect to see.
*The Hearthstone Community Campaign will eclipse the $8 million that it needs for construction of Estevan’s new regional nursing home. Hearthstone is currently at about $7.1 million, so committee members have to raise another $900,000. It’s a lot of money, but the campaign has been averaging well over $1 million a year. Hopefully those who are undecided whether they want to support the campaign will recognize its value, and make a donation.
*The start of construction on Estevan’s new track and field facility. The new complex is going to be built as part of Estevan’s successful bid for the 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games. But it’s not just the centerpiece of the Games bid; it’ll also be a welcome addition to the community, as it will replace the decrepit dirt track at the Estevan Comprehensive School.
*The civic by-election in April will result in a new member for Estevan City Council. Councillor Chris Istace forced the by-election when he moved to B.C. There is always a sense of excitement and anticipation for an election, regardless of whether it’s a general election or a by-election.
*Local residents can also look forward to the announcement of a new City manager early in 2014.
*From the “It’s about time” file: Highway 39 is slated to be resurfaced from Estevan to Macoun. The potholes that dot the national highway reflect the deteriorating condition of the highway.
*From the “Yes, we know you’ve heard this before” file: the parking lot resurfacing project at the Souris Valley Aquatic and Leisure Centre should finally be finished. It should have happened about 20 years ago. Gravel parking lots are so passé.
*The start of construction for Estevan’s new truck route. It won’t be finished this year, but relief is on the way for local urban residents who have been flustered by the number of heavy trucks passing through the community, and their impact on traffic flows and roads.
*Progress for the twinning of Highways 6 and 39, from Regina to the junction with Highways 39 and 18 east of Estevan. It’s another project that is years away from being completed, but the day is coming when those roads will offer double lanes and enhanced safety.
*The return of Hedley to Affinity Place on February 23. Hedley’s previous visit two years ago proved to be one of the most memorable concerts in Estevan’s history. Expect another great show this year. And let’s cross our fingers for some other great shows, too.
*Completion of new rental projects, new condominium buildings and new homes in several different subdivisions in Estevan.
*New businesses, new people in the community and the further diversification of Estevan’s population base, as more newcomers arrive in the city.
*Fifty-two editions of Lifestyles, better and hopefully bigger than ever.