Friday April 18, 2014

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Weyburn City Council increases landfill rates; discusses arena renos

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A regular meeting of the Weyburn City Council was held on November 22; here are the major points of interest:

*Council received an update on the renovations to Crescent Point Place (CPP) and the Tom Zandee Sports Arena from the Facilities Committee. The committee was given an update from Brent Waldo of Cardinal Construction.

Waldo explained that, like elsewhere in the province, construction deadlines have been affected by weather. At one point, it was hoped that the project would be completed by September.

Currently, the front lobby of CPP is 90 percent complete. Once this is finished, the lobby flooring will be completed, as Red Wing game schedules allow.

Items currently being installed at CPP include washroom partitions and tiling, and concession cabinets; dressing room #6 is being worked on and the outside metal will go on the new lobby entrance this week. The arena roof is 98 percent complete. Once complete, crews will move to the Sports Arena to finish the lobby roof and complete renovations.

Waldo told the committee that Cardinal Construction is committed to completing the project as timely as possible and has bumped up crew numbers when possible. Committee member, Councillor Dick Michel, said that they are anticipating the completion of the project by the end of the year.

*Council received a report from the Leisure Service Commission which met with Red Wings President Ryan Williams at their last meeting. Council was told the Red Wings are experiencing reduced game revenues due to the construction and discussed whether or not to reduce game rates until construction is complete.

Williams explained to the commission that with CPP's lobby incomplete, ice cream sales have suffered, which usually provides about $300 per game. Also, there are approximately 30 fans who regularly watch the game from the lobby that are not attending games due to construction, an estimated loss of $350 per game. Sales of 50/50 tickets are being affected as well. Estimated total game-day losses are approximately $700 per game since the season began in October.

The commission decided to table the matter until financial statements could be verified.

*Council amended a bylaw to increase some of the rates at the city landfill, the first increase in three years.

The City first did a survey to compare Weyburn's landfill rates to that of other communities, including Moose Jaw, Estevan, Regina and Yorkton. According to City Manager Bob Smith, Weyburn's rates were lower than any of the communities surveyed.

As of January 1, 2011, the monthly general environmental fee, charged on all water and/or sewer utility bills, will be increased from $4 to $4.15 and increased another $0.15 every year until 2013. The disposal rate for mixed demolition material, vehicles, mixed scrap metal and dead animals will be increased annually over the next three years. The reason for the increase for these types of materials, according to Smith, is the difficulty of managing the mixed materials and large items.

Meanwhile, a new landfill operator is being trained to take over for Chris Stehr, who is retiring at the end of the year. Connor Rodine will take his place.

*Mayor Debra Button brought up the topic of the ethanol plant during the meeting. She said that several residents have complained about the smell coming from the plant.

Button said that members of council are planning a meeting with Environment Minister and MLA Dustin Duncan in regards to the issue and, possibly, representatives from the NorAmera Bioenergy Plant and Weyburn Inland Terminal.

"We've heard the people loud and clear that they have an issue with it and we're working on it," said Button.


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