Mayor of Moosomin is pleased with town’s economic development

January 4, 2023, 3:15 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

From left are, Councillor Ron Fisk, Councillor Murray Gray, Councillor Kyla Fingas, Youth Councillor Molly Martens, Councillor Greg Nosterud, Councillor Chris Davidson, Councillor Garry Towler, C.A.O. Paul Listrom and Mayor Larry Tomlinson.

Mayor Larry Tomlinson said the Town of Moosomin has completed various projects within 2022. Although being a challenging year financially, Tomlinson said he is looking forward to continuing the town’s success in economic growth in the next year.

What were some of the highlights for the town this year?
In October of this year, the economic development officer became a full-time position. The town, the RM and the Community Builders Alliance (CBA) partnered for the funding of this position.

Since the start of 2022, the Economic Development Committee has been very busy pursuing leads to help establish new businesses, and trying to find new businesses to come to our area, which has been successful.

At the Moosomin South Cemetery, we purchased and installed a second 48 Niche Columbarium with a bench, for a cost of approximately $20,000.

The Public Works department placed all the road base, and installed three blocks of new water line on Ogilvie Street.

They are in the process of looping the water main from the SaskPower building at the corner of Saunders Road and Celebration Drive, to the north and then all the way to the west of Main Street, which will complete the loop.

We spent about $675,000 plus PST on paving in 2022. We are all very happy with the outcome of the paving, especially completing Wright Road which is the main road to the hospital.

Also in Public Works, the town also budgeted and purchased a new three-quarter ton truck for $69,000. This truck has been outfitted with a large fibreglass tool box, which the Public Works department will now use as the service truck.

The town also placed an order for a new CAT grader last November 2021, which has now been delivered early this month. The old 2004 John Deere 770 Custom, 210 grader was traded in as part of this deal. What we did is put a five-year lease on this unit with the option of buying it in at the end of the lease.

The metal quonset at the Public Works department yard, we insulated it with a heater installed, and covered the dirt floor inside the building with pavement. The building will keep the salt and sand mixture dry for applying on the streets.

Finally going into the recreation department, with major funding the BMX Track was bought and installed, the mezzanine at the MCC Centre was constructed, the outdoor rink was retro-fitted with pavement repairs, new plex-glass and other board repairs.

We rip-rapped the newest cell at the lagoon for about $250,000. We had to do that because it was eroding on the banks.

The town is working with KGS group on finalizing the design of the new major upgrades for the water treatment plant, including the new filtration. As well, a new water supply line from two wells near Moosomin Lake.

This work will continue and is anticipated to be finalized early in the new year, then after, it will go out for tender for construction.

This is a $13,730,475 project. There was a lot of expenses put in working up to this, we’ve been trying to cover those costs.

The town received approval to borrow $3.5 million for our share of the expense from the Saskatchewan Municipal Board. The ICIP grant is 40 per cent of the federal government, 33 per cent of the provincial government, and our municipal portion is 26 per cent.

It’s been a really busy year, and with the water treatment plant going in the spring, I think next year is going to be busier.

What were some of the challenges the town faced this year?
Paving was a big one, that’s always a challenge. You’re never going to please everyone with paving.

Some of the streets we could’ve done, Gordon Street was one of them, but we’re going to have to dig it up and put a water line in there because we’ve had breaks in the past. We did some patching there, which we felt was going to last a few years. We put that one off, which would’ve been nice to get done because it also serves the school. It’s going to have to be done when school is not in session.

Was there anything council did not succeed in this year that you’re hoping to accomplish in 2023?
There were a few small things, but we tried to get the major projects done. There was probably a few small projects that either got dropped off or because we felt they weren’t a high enough priority to spend the money on.

We’re probably going to have to buy another three-quarter ton truck for the Public Works staff, but we put it off for next year, after the winter, and will do something about it in the spring.

How does this year compare to last year?
I think this year was a little more challenging, money wise, in terms of getting money to the proper place where we felt it was needed to go.

We had to increase taxes a little bit this past year, but we had to in order to meet the challenges that we faced.

It was a little more challenging than the year before.

Five to ten years from now, what do you expect for the Town of Moosomin?
I hope in five to ten years we might be a city and that we keep looking for businesses to come to town.

Keller Construction, he’s building those two apartment buildings in town. Him and I spoke about that a few years ago and it’s finally coming to fruition.

If we can keep getting entrepreneurs like that to set up in town, would be great.

Now we have that Brewhouse coming, EECOL Electric is here. We’ll just keep trying to attract businesses and hopefully we become a city one day. Another thing is, maybe, we can get this place to become a regional hospital.

The CT Scanner is one of the other things, but we’ll work on it.

It’s been a challenging year, but we’ve got through it and we’ve got pretty much everything we needed to get done.