Heliport a major 2020 achievement for Melfort: mayor

·2 min read

It is an understatement to say that COVID-19 made 2020 a difficulty for many municipalities in Saskatchewan, many communities have weathered the storm and have accomplished much given the challenges of the pandemic.

This includes the City of Melfort who, like many communities, are proud of what they have achieved in 2020.

Mayor Glenn George said the biggest thing for the city to celebrate in 2020 was the completion of their new heliport at the Melfort Hospital and the fundraising that took place to make it happen. With funds raised exceeding their $600,000 price tag, more than $117,000 will now be donated to the North Central Health Care Foundation to address further healthcare needs in Melfort.

Five projects were also completed in Melfort in 2020 thanks to the provincial government’s Municipal Economic Enhancement Program and the over $800,000 that Melfort received in order to address infrastructure issues in their community.

Given the challenges of COVID-19, George is proud of how the citizens of Melfort rose up to make their communities safe during this time. While there are people who may disagree, he said, most people were more than willing to do what they had to do to control the spread of the virus and local governments did what they had to do to get rules in place.

“There are people that don’t like rules and regulations and think the government’s trying to impede their human rights and I don’t think that’s true at all. The government’s doing their job and there comes a time when we have to get in line and do what we have to do.”

With the city starting its 2021 budget planning season, there is a chance that the city council plays it safe and cuts back on projects in order to prepare for pandemic uncertainties. George hopes that that is not the case and they do complete some projects in the new year. Time will tell as they get deeper into their budget planning.

“We’ve had a very positive first meeting, and there are quite a few things that we’d like to do and now we have to decide what are we going to do.”

With the coming of the COVID-19 vaccination, George hopes that things are back to normal by the summer of 2021.

Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist