Working together...to grow Melville
With the warm winds fanning our community and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions it seemed that spring and normalcy was on its way. But, the weekend of March 12 brought home a stark realization that we, too, were to be confronted with increasing cases of Covid-19 - namely the new fast spreading variant. With increased vaccinations and the continued adherence to Covid-19 protocols it is hoped that infection numbers can be limited.
This coming May Canada will be conducting its nation-wide census. The last census occurred in 2016 and provided our city with valuable information. For example – identifying the total number of residents in our city, age categories, male-female numbers, population change, number of private dwellings and levels of immigration. All very useful information for future planning.
The census population numbers also determine the amount of funds that we receive from the different levels of government. In 2021, Melville will receive $905,000 as part of our provincial Revenue Share program based on our 2016 population numbers of 4562. That equates to $198.37 for each member of our population count. During this spring’s census count I urge everyone to participate in the census as it determines future grant allocations. If we can include 50 more people to our current population number that would equate to $9918.50 toward our city operations.
Hats off to our Kinsmen - Kinettes for contributing to a most successful Telemiracle 45. Congratulations to Sarcan on the opening of their new facility on February 26, 2021. On March 8, we honored and celebrated International Women’s Day.
Did you know that Melville Heritage Museum once served as a training site for young men entering the ministry, then as a nursing home and finally a museum to keep our community heritage alive?
The most recent cold snap, running a full ten days or so, certainly brought the balmy winter weather we so comfortably experienced to an abrupt end. Little rest was experienced by our faithful furnaces and fortunately the water taps continued to flow.
Strangely, in just a few short weeks, we will have been exposed to the dreaded Covid-19 for one full year. Is it over? And if not, when might it be over? We patiently wait, practice all the necessary precautions, and suffer the agony of no or very limited social connections. No family get togethers….no large gatherings….very restricted hospital-care facilities visitation… abbreviated funeral farewells. Our sense of regularity -normalcy continues to be challenged.
The Covered Population Report issued on June 30, 2020 recognized growth in our city population from 2019 to 2020. This is always encouraging news. This year 2021, Canada will be conducting a nation-wide CENSUS. This is a very important population survey as much information is provided which serves to benefit Melville. So many provincial and federal grants are based on actual census numbers. Our city, along with Census Canada, will attempt to provide as much information as possible to our citizens so as to enable Melville residents to be active participants in the process.
Lately, the result of a doctor shortage, our hospital has been subjected to limited or suspended emergency services. Hopefully, with the arrival of Dr. Chattha, this unfortunate situation can be overcome. We welcome Dr. Chattha to our community.
Did you know that the 1909 Melville Sports Day located at the Third Avenue area attracted hundreds of people with ladies in long gowns and men in top hats?
On my Mainstreet GX radio commentary I made reference to January 1st, New Years’ Day noting the bright, sunny and calmness we experienced, with the hope that this day would serve as a possible predictor of a promising year ahead.
As we enter the tenth month of the Covid-19 pandemic, we long for the day that we may once again return to gatherings of family and friends, to carefree travel, to the addition of new life experiences, to seeking new opportunities.
For the first time during my terms on council we were able to approve our budgeting process prior to December 31 of our current year. This achievement enables our team to move quickly on projects to be initiated through early tendering and utilizing our winter season to lay out detailed plans for the construction season. Our 2.11 % budget increase is very much in line with other cities and allows us to move forward through diligent prioritization of required projects.
When I speak of priorities the Lift Station #1 has been on our replacement list for the last four years – this we hope to attend to with an overall cost of 3.2 million. The landfill redesign at 2.55 million is also part of our 2021 budget. Swim pool completion, paving some city streets and placing 1.29% into our reserves all form part of our development plan for our city this year.
With respect to the many activities and events our community has been involved in or hosted in the past, Covid-19 has limited these occurrences to a crawl. Many of us must respond to our work responsibilities but these work situations have greatly changed. Thank you for your perseverance and fortitude as we wait for the day when this pandemic ends.
Hats off to MCS Principal Brandon Needham who was recently recognized for his influence and guidance in reconciliation education.
Did you know that the Opera House Auditorium on the third floor of City Hall is regarded as one of the finest 100 year old concert halls in Saskatchewan because of its superb acoustics?