Estevan City Council authorized the construction of a new biosolids processing facility for the waste water treatment plant at council's meeting on March 17.
Wilhelm Construction was awarded the tender for more than $1.35 million, even though it was several hundred thousand dollars over budget. About $475,000 in equipment that is needed for the new building will be purchased and installed next year.
In his report to council, water/waste water treatment plant manager Kevin Sutter said the current building is nearly 20 years old, and it needs to be replaced. When it was constructed in 1995, the facility was pared down so that it could be completed for the lowest cost possible.
Also, the current sludge processing equipment carries a relatively high maintenance cost, he said, and has reached its life expectancy.
Councillors Greg Hoffort and Kevin Smith voted against the motion. They agreed that the building has to proceed, but due to cost overages, Smith and Hoffort believe that it should be constructed next year.
The most recent version of the 2014 budget reflects the projects additional expenses.
Other highlights from the meeting were:
*George Barker from the Canadian Red Cross discussed the upcoming Pink Shirt Walk in Estevan on Wednesday, April 9. Mayor Roy Ludwig proclaimed April 9 as Pink Shirt Day in Estevan.
*Representatives from the Estevan Family Resource Centre submitted their annual funding request. They are seeking $20,000, which is double last year's grant. Board member Rhonda Sandquist said the increase stems from a restructuring in the Community Initiatives Fund grants, which means that less money is available for family centres in Saskatchewan.
*A total of 28,180 kilograms of recycled materials, or about 31 tonnes, were collected through curbside recycling in Estevan in February. The average recycling cart weight was 10.4 kilograms.
*Estevan will pay $12,535.54 in membership fees to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association in 2014.
*There will be two plebiscite questions on the ballot for the upcoming civic by-election. The first will ask voters whether the fluoridation of drinking water should continue. Hydrofluorosilicic acid has been added to the water since 1960; it helps prevent tooth decay. But it also poses health risks for City staff. The other question is whether a casino should be constructed in Estevan. A developer has broached the subject, and even though the provincial government gets the final say on whether it will proceed, council still wants the public's input.
*Twelve building permits, with a total value of $1.156 million, were issued in February. Eleven of the permits were single-family residential buildings. A total of 18 permits, worth $2.766 million, were granted in January and February.
*Council gave first reading to a bylaw for a rezoning application in the 800 block of Valley Street. A 720-square foot house that was constructed in 1911 will be torn down, and replaced by a two-storey, four-unit residential complex.
*Three readings were given to a bylaw that will restore the 80-kilometre per hour speed limit on Highway 47 at the northern entrance of the city. Council had reduced the speed limit to 50 without the approval of the Ministry of Highways.