Council meets with Play Fair Daycare delegation

Moosomin town council

May 7, 2024, 8:53 am
Kevin Weedmark

Miller explained that the site plan is just a concept at this point and no design work has been done on the building.

Jalisa Miller and Jill Jones from Play Fair Daycare attended the last Moosomin Town Council meeting to discuss plans for a second daycare building.

Play Fair Daycare has been approved for 90 additional daycare spots, which means it will need a second building. The Southeast Cornerstone School Division has offered to provide land for the daycare at no charge. The land would be at the south end of the MacLeod School playground.

“We’re open to hearing the ideas you guys have,” Jones said. “One of the questions you had posed was financing—how we’re going to fund this project.

“We have $1.2 million granted to us through the provincial government. The remainder will be self-funded through mortgaging or the federal low interest loans for daycares, and community-funded through fundraisers and corporate funding.”

“Now that we have the land, the next step is coming up with a funding strategy for the community side of things,” said Miller. “We haven’t got too far into what that looks like, but we will start working on that fundraising strategy fairly quickly.”

Councillor Garry Towler said the Moosomin Moose may want to get behind the fundraising push for the daycare. “As a council we realize it’s handcuffing our community not having these spots,” he said. “I think we as the Moose organization want to get behind it and get a major fundraiser going for you guys. It’s just like the health care, we really need to get it going. We’re behind you guys 100 per cent.”

Mayor Larry Tomlinson asked if the committee is near a final design. “There’s a lot of chatter in our end of town that there seem to be a lot of changes to the design,” he said.

Miller explained that the site plan is just a concept at this point and no design work has been done on the building.

“This is one step up from a napkin drawing,” she said. “This is just the start of it. We have proposals from a few different engineering and design firms.

“Before we really know what it will look like, we will have to engage an engineering firm and dig into it that way. We don’t know if the building will be the shape it’s in on the site plan. It will probably shift a bit.”

Jones emphasized the project is in the early stages. “We’re in the very early planning stages of this project. We’re not going to get it perfect on the first napkin drawing. It’s going to change.”

Councillor Chris Davidson asked what the timeline is to build the daycare.

“We will look at the topographical survey and starting civil engineering once we get that back, doing dirt work and getting the ground level in the fall, and letting that sit over winter, and starting construction as soon as we can in the spring,” said Jones.

“There’s never been a question of whether we need a daycare. Everyone agrees. I think the biggest hurdle we’ve had so far is communication,” said councillor Kyla Fingas. “I think this could have been handled in lots of ways, by having a town meeting earlier and contacting the residents in the area so they know what’s going on.”

She said she believes comments by the day care board left people thinking the town was not in support of the project.

“That was said publicly, saying we don’t support the project, when we do. From hereon out I think it’s crucial that you have clear, honest and kind communication. We need the community to come together to collaborate for this project. It’s a wonderful project and there’s never been a question whether we need it, it’s the communication.”

“I’ll 100 per cent agree and I’ll apologize for that,” said Miller “The communication we had last fall with a council member is that we would be getting the $1,500 per spot for the 90 spots and that’s what we were going with, so obviously there was a miscommunication. On community consultation, we only got the land approved from the school division on March 11.”

“I think there was a misunderstanding,” said Councillor Murray Gray. “I had said that council is behind the project for $1,500 a space, and I couldn’t see how we couldn’t get behind 90 spaces. But that was just a conversation with me, not a commitment from council, because I don’t have the power to give public money away.

“But looking back isn’t going to get us anywhere. We need to look ahead. I’m sorry that we were misunderstood. I was excited when we got 90 spots because I know how important it is to have them.”

“I think apologies are accepted on both sides, now let’s work together and get it done,” said Councillor Garry Towler.

“Let’s work together. It’s for the betterment of the community. It’s needed. I sit on the hospital foundation board and I know what’s held back there in nursing because they can’t get daycare. It’s needed big time.”

“We’re estimating based on what we pay in taxes in our current building, property taxes on the new building will be $50,000, so we will be looking at $75,000 in property taxes between the two buildings,” said Jones.

Council decided to make a decision on financial support for the daycare once the property has been transferred and a business plan is in place.

Crosswalk at Wright Road and Main Street
Councillor Murray Gray suggested the town should consider a crosswalk at Main Street and Wright Road. “Traffic is going at a high speed there,” he said. “A lot of people walk down Cook Road then Wright Road. I think it’s important to have a crosswalk there so they can safely cross.”

The issue will come up again at the next council meeting and councillors will discuss which side to put the crosswalk on.

Co-op considering building RTMs at C-store site
Borderland Co-op is considering going into building Ready To Move homes and asked council if RTMs could be built and stored on Co-op land behind the C-Store on the east end of town. Zoning in that area is C-2 Regional Commercial. Manufacturing is a discretionary use in that zoning category.

“We are short of carpenters, short of builders, so from an Economic Development standpoint we would welcome it,” Councillor Murray Gray said. Council interpreted RTMs as falling under the parameters of C2, will send letters to neighboring businesses and will decide on the issue at the May 22 meeting.