Thankfully winter has held off long enough for several projects to be completed this fall. These projects included sidewalk replacements for 2022, resurfacing of the tennis and pickleball courts, and construction of an asphalt path along Palliser Trail between the lodge and 2 Ave West. This trail continues across the street in the pocket park in front of the Canada Grey.
Also the replacement of the concrete sidewalks in Hector King-Hunter Park with wider asphalt pathways and replacement of the condenser for the ice plant that services the arena and curling rink.
Parents of the minor hockey players and figure skaters had to travel to Delia to use their arena for the month of October.
I am very disappointed with some of the residents of our community and their treatment of town staff and contractors. I am sure all of you have heard the Golden Rule, “treat others the same way that you want to be treated”.
There have been a few occasions in the past few months where town staff and contractors have taken significant verbal abuse from residents when they are simply doing their job.
If you have an issue with a decision that has been made, bring that up with our Chief Administrative Officer Kim Neill, myself or for that matter any member of council.
These individuals are simply doing their job and taking your frustration out on them is not acceptable.
Most of this behaviour comes about based on enforcement of bylaws relating to unsightly property, animal issues, trailers or vehicles on the street. It is your responsibility to follow the bylaws and it is the responsibility of staff and contractors to enforce the bylaws when they are not being followed.
With the above said we are moving into winter and as a friendly reminder it is the responsibility of the property owners to ensure their sidewalks are clear of ice and snow within 24 hours after a snowfall has ended. The majority of residents do this very well but for those of you who don’t, consider this a warning.
Council will soon begin the 2023-2025 budget process. This will be the second budget for this council and will be a significant challenge as council will be dealing again with increased policing costs following the provincial decision mandating all municipalities to pay for policing costs. Previously all municipalities under 5,000 population and all rural municipalities were exempt.
This has had an impact on the Town of Hanna by $48,000 in 2021 and $72,000 in 2022. We will see that increase in 2023 to $96,000 and to $150,000 in 2024.
In addition, the inflationary costs that we all feel at home affect the operation of the municipality in utilities, insurance and fuel, etc..
An example of this is the bridge located on Pioneer Trail, crossing the CN Reservoir.
In 2022, the estimate to replace the bridge came in at $1.4 million and a recent estimate has indicated the cost to do the same work is now $1.8 million.
As always, council will do their best to maintain current tax levels or keep any increases to a minimum. Please reach out to me or other members of council if there is anything you feel needs to be addressed in the next three years so it can be brought forward for discussion.
Danny Povaschuk, Mayor