The sewage lagoon and landfill capital projects, which were Tisdale Mayor Al Jellicoe’s highlights for 2020, remain his highlights for 2021, as work on the two projects is complete.
The lagoon project involved adding a new sewer lift station, new lagoon cell and a new pipe out to the lagoon. The town previously received funding for the project through the New Building Canada Small Community Fund in 2018, which covered two-thirds of the cost. In 2019, the town took out $1.2 million in loans to pay for their share of the project.
“We increased capacity for the whole town, so we’re ready for that population increase,” Jellicoe said, adding that it now has capacity for about 5,000 residents, allowing for a population increase of more than 1,000. “We’ll be good for a few years in that regard.”
With the landfill project, Jellicoe said the garbage dump has taken on a whole new look.
The landfill project included adding a new landfill cell, leachate pond and compost area to the Tisdale Regional Landfill. The work was originally scheduled for completion in summer of 2020, but was delayed due to COVID-19.
The federal government invested $2.13 million and the provincial government invested $1.78 million towards the project in 2019 under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, with the remaining $1.4 million covered by the town.
Water line replacements were another highlight, with 97th Street between 103rd Avenue and 105th Avenue replaced, totalling $135 thousand.
Although the specific water line replacements planned for 2022 haven’t been decided yet, Jellicoe said they intend to continue their regular operation of replacing one to two blocks each year.
“It’s usually we replace the water lines, then in the next year we fix or replace the curbs if necessary, then the next year we pave.”
For paving, Jellicoe said 2021 was a big year with multiple blocks completed/ There was $573 thousand spent on paving including 105th Avenue between 100th Street and 101st Street, 105th Avenue East of 102nd Street, 103rd Avenue West of 95th Street, 94th Ave between 103rd Avenue and 101st Avenue, 100a between 98th Avenue and 99th Avenue, 98th Avenue between 100a Street and 100 Street, and 99th Avenue between 100A Street and 100 Street. In addition, the town spent $100,000 on patching
For 2022, Jellicoe said he’s hoping for a year or two from big capital projects, with the largest planned being the renovation of the town office.
“We’ve been looking at an upgrade to the town office for the last 10 to 15 years and we’re going to look at that again with the weather,” he said.
“Everything’s being considered right now from fix it up to build new. Everything’s on the books right now saying, ‘What do we need?’ That will be next year's project if it does happen in 2022.”
For sidewalk replacements Jellicoe said the town will be looking at work around Main Street, with the Main Street portion continuing to be council’s focus when it comes to sidewalks.
“Down Main Street, which is not bad, then the one block on each side of Main Street there’s a few sidewalks we have to look at there, although streets right now are probably more of a priority than sidewalks.”
For street paving, Jellicoe said to expect a small section of Boundary Road to receive some work.
“(With) COVID-19 things kept a little quieter, but I’m hoping next year things pick up a little more,” Jellicoe said. “Let’s just get through this pandemic and have a hope that more and more people shop local.”
Specifically, he pointed to the rodeo, trade fair, curling bonspiels, town dance competitions and the annual music concert which are “big items” in town that they’ve not been able to hold since the pandemic, benefiting both local retailers and hotels.
“I’m hoping some of that stuff comes back and we can be somewhat normal again.”
Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal