‘Out with the old and in with the new’ is a phrase the City of Melfort has applied to several areas this past year.
Mayor Rick Lang said millions of dollars has been spent on new construction projects upgrading existing infrastructure.
“For the first time, we utilized the Infrastructure Replacement Fund we started a couple of years ago. So, the fund has basically been wiped out at this point but we will continue contributing so we can potentially use it again in 2018,” Lang said.
Roughly $640,000 was taken from the fund to cover the cost of paving three blocks of Stovel Ave. in the community.
More money was drained into the Northern Lights Palace this past year. Approximately $350,000 was spent on fixing the roof of the facility which has been plagued with leaking problems for more than two decades.
“Unfortunately, as buildings age, they need some money put into them,” explained Lang. “Almost $1 million has been put into the Palace over the last couple of years. At least everything is stable now with respect to the roof.”
The city spent an additional $2.5 million on infrastructure as part of a master plan to develop Spruce Haven Park into a recreational complex. It will eventually include a second arena for Melfort. Next year, Lang said council is looking at spending $700,000 on the construction of a skateboard park for the complex.
“There will be other components added to that project when funding is available,” he added.
Lang said the main highlight of 2016 for him was the progress made on the proposed Wellness Centre. The facility will be an 8,500 square foot physician clinic with an additional 12,000 square feet for public areas and other health-related services.
“From what I understand, 10 doctors are ready to move into the facility when it's built and it may attract new doctors to the community.” Lang added the plan is to start construction on the $6 million dollar project in March with occupancy as early as November 2017.
As for other projects in the coming year, the mayor said the city will approach the government for funding to maintain Saskatchewan Dr. – a provincial highway that runs through the city.
“We will see what kind of answer we get within their upcoming challenging budget,” he said.
Lang said he is also hoping to confirm more development for the StoneGate shopping centre in the new year.
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