If you're like me, you are asking yourself "when the heck is summer going to get here, already?" I feel your pain about the cooler, wetter weather we've been having this season but I have faith that the warmer temperatures will be coming our way sooner or later.
While the beach weather may be taking its sweet time, our city administration has already gotten into high gear to get ready for the season. May and June tend to be hectic times among our city staff as we get to work to invest your tax dollars into projects and programs that will help make your summer as enjoyable as possible.
We have been out sweeping the streets to clear out all the dirt and garbage built up over winter. The de-litter part of the job takes an incredible amount of work. This year, city crews put in an estimated 450 hours on the spring clean up.
The mowing, weed spraying and gardening crews have already been out making our parks and public spaces look pretty, as well as getting our sports fields in shape for use.
Most recently, the city has invested special effort into working on the Boardwalk Extension Project. In addition to the general clean-up, decorative rock was installed and hanging flower baskets were put in place. New playground equipment was delivered the last week in May and Parks Coordinator Struthers and her crews did an excellent job of getting the equipment completely installed for the Trails Day and Boardwalk Grand Opening on June 1.
Now, there is one part of summer preparations about which I always get a lot of emails and phone calls: mosquitoes. I'm sorry, people, but we live in Saskatchewan. The use of toxic fogging sprays is no longer a recommended municipal practice for many reasons - not least of which is the fact that it's a cloud of poison gas. We do our best using the mosquito-control practices available, including the use of the biological control agent,
Vectobac which kills mosquitoes in the larval stage. But, no matter what we do, there is no way we can ever guarantee a mosquito-free summer so make sure to stock up on your own favourite repellent products. As well, you can help both yourself and your neighbours by practicing good anti-mosquito measures around your property by getting rid of any uncovered standing water as soon as possible.
Another thing about which we get a lot of calls at City Hall is summer jobs for teenagers. This is a topic near and dear to me since I worked at the pool in the summer when I was a teenager. If you've got a teenager at home, make sure to remind them that if they work for the city this summer they may become mayor some day. In all seriousness, there are a limited number of summer fill-in jobs for the city but we are always happy to consider applications.
This is just a sample of the many ways your tax dollars are put to work to make your summer a little brighter. Now, if only the sun would come out!
Have a great summer everyone. I'll be back next month with another column. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, you can contact me directly by writing to ma...@weyburn.ca or calling my office at (306) 848-3209.