When Town Council met for its regular bi-monthly meeting recently, Council members had little to say about the provincial budget.
There are some concerns Council is aware of regarding how the budget will affect different areas of town and surrounding area. Though the Town itself will not take much of a hit.
“We aren’t as bad off as some places in the province,” said Mayor Barry Rudd.
Some towns don’t receive a lot from the government to begin with and are already struggling.
According to Rudd Maple Creek isn’t in such a dire situation.
Rudd received a call from Cypress Hills MLA Doug Steele. They discussed any concerns the town and mayor had with the provincial budget handed down on March 22.
“MLAs are still trying to figure out the finer details of the budget,” said Rudd.
Coun. Mike Morrow brought a letter from the Saskatchewan Urban Municipality Association (SUMA) to Council’s attention. The letter detailed the organization’s concerns with the provincial budget.
“It details how the budget will affect the province … There are severe cuts to health care, education, libraries, STC bus line,” Morrow read.
SUMA will be sending out stock letters for municipalities to send to MLAs to voice their concerns over the cut backs, which Council agreed to send to MLA Steele.
Coun. Barry Elderkin, who attended the meeting via teleconference, attended his last Southwest Transportation meeting as chair. While there he found the organization will also be facing cuts from the government.
“They are funded through the province and through the municipalities,” Elderkin explained.
The Southwest Transportation Committee is facing provincial cut backs of 25 per cent.
During the meeting, Council also discussed street cleaning, which began on March 27.
Street cleaning will continue on, though signs will be posted before the street is cleaned this year.
“Last year signs were not posted and some streets were not cleaned at all,” said Coun. Ellaine Hawrylak.
Signs should be posted the day before street cleaning is to begin on that street. The signs will ask to have all cars moved off the street until the cleaning is done.
“We will look at having one side of the street cleaned on one day and the other side on the next,” said Rudd.
The Maple Creek garbage truck is down for repairs. Chief Administrative Office Don McLeod says parts are on their way but are coming from the United States.
Also at March 28’s meeting, Council approved a three year lease effective April 1, 2017.
The lease was granted to Dr. Armes Perrett from Medicine Hat who will be undertaking the process of turning the Royal Bank Building into a dentist office.
“This is probably the worst kept secret in Maple Creek,” said McLeod.
Dr. Perrett will undertake the costs to turn the building into a dentistry office. He hopes to have the office open to his first clients by early July.
Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Salvation Army, who will act in times of emergency as the Red Cross has begun to limit they help in this area.
“It makes sense, they are right here, they are on our doorstep,” Rudd said.
Millrates for education have changed slightly for 2017:
• 1.43 mills for agriculture property
• 4.12 mills for residential property
• 6.27 mills for commercial property
• 9.68 mills for industrial property including: oil, gas, mines and pipelines.
Council will meet for its next regular meeting on April 11 at 7:30 p.m.