Canora experienced another year of progress in 2019 and town council is looking forward to making things better in 2020.
Some of the accomplishments and highlights of the last year included:
- The completion of a $2.4 million street paving project that began in 2018. The project recapped several streets in town with new asphalt, including a large portion of Railway Avenue (Hwy No. 5) and two blocks of Norway Road (Hwy No. 9).
- Upgrades at the Civic Centre continued with a renovation and improvements to the kitchen and concession area. The ice surface lights were upgraded to LED and have already resulted in cost savings.
- A brand-new mobility bus was purchased to replace the aging 1997 model. This bus service continues to provide valuable assistance to seniors and those with disabilities in the community.
- The Canora Revive Group continued its work to restore several business fronts on Main Street and received provincial and national exposure after being featured at heritage conferences in Moose Jaw and Winnipeg this fall. Based on inquiries afterwards, this publicity seems to have made Canora’s program a model that other communities would like to follow.
- As part of council’s commitment to making its recreation facilities better, the Town created a new position and hired an additional full-time employee, dedicated to the care and maintenance of leisure services buildings and grounds.
- A byelection for mayor was held after Gina Rakochy stepped down before the end of her term. I was grateful to be elected to serve as mayor on town council.
- Our Winter Wonderland lights display at King George Park expanded once again thanks to generous donations from residents and the Winter Lights Festival saw the highest attendance to date at the fireworks and sleigh ride events.
Canora is a great place and these efforts will improve services for residents and visitors to our town in the years to come.
Looking forward to 2020
As residents look forward to a new year, town council is already doing the same.
Some of the important issues that council will be discussing in 2020 include:
- Decisions will have to be made about solid waste management. The current landfill does not meet present-day regulations and can only remain open for a limited time and then has to be decommissioned. Engineers are working on a feasibility study to help council choose how waste will be handled in the community.
- One of the projects already underway is an auction for some of the residential lots available in the new subdivision next to the golf course. Council is excited about the prospect of development in this area. Interested purchasers will be able to bid online in February. Anyone with questions about this is encouraged to contact Brandi Zavislak, community development officer.
- Work is to begin this year on installing a new system at the water treatment plant to treat the water flushed from the filters before it is released into the environment. Canora has terrific water and this work will be just another in a series of projects to ensure it stays that way for years to come.
- Also in the utilities department, it is hoped that we can complete another round of water main replacements this construction season. The Town has replaced more than 80 per cent of water mains over several years and as a result has seen water quality improve and the number of water main breaks drop to almost zero. Because the Town has held off on repaving streets with old water lines, this work will also result in an improvement to some streets in the next paving project.
- Council and residents will have to prepare for both provincial and general municipal elections this fall.
- And of course, council and staff will continue to promote Canora as a great place to work and live. A big part of that will be continued efforts on the appearance of the community: a pergola structure at the CN Station House and Visitor’s Centre will provide shelter for the successful farmers’ market and will be designed to match the new timber-framed signs that have already been coming up around town.
Combining these plans, prioritizing several more worthwhile projects and juggling an always limited amount of available funding will provide council with a challenge in 2020.
Personally, I look forward to settling into my role as mayor, working with council, and helping to move things forward for our community.