The RM of Moosomin commissioned 41,000 tonnes of gravel to be hauled for the Moosomin airport expansion project, but ended up with an additional 3,113 tonnes thanks to the donations of gravel and labour from the local contractors.
In total $29,011.41 worth of gravel and labour were donated with Springer Construction donating $12,578.06, KCH Operating donating $2,854.99, Joel Poelzer donating $4,694.84, Kentrax Transport donating $6,233.85, and Rhino Dirtworks donating $2,649.67.
“Everyone that helped is local,” said Jason Springer, owner of Springer Construction.
“We’d been hauling for a couple weeks and wanted to do a little bit more. It was nice being close to home and doing something for the community—it helped that the weather was so nice.”
The airport expansion plan began in 2018 with a need for a rebuilt runway, lighting, and navigation equipment to accommodate the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance.
The new runway will run northwest-southeast in line with the prevailing winds.
A new access road, taxiway, and apron will be built on the road allowance that the current runway is built on.
The need for the airport expansion became clear with the centralization of health services in Saskatchewan, with stroke services and pediatric services being centralized in Saskatoon.
With the only pediatric facility in the province, Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, being located in Saskatoon it makes it difficult for time-efficient patient transfers for those under the age of 18.
Another major factor in having access to the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance is the world class stroke unit at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.
“We’re at a standstill with the project until additional funding falls into place,” said RM of Moosomin Administrator Kendra Lawrence.
“There’s a few funding measures that we’re applying for and we’re just waiting on results back for those.”
Moosomin is one of the 14 communities in Saskatchewan to receive CAP (Community Airport Partnership) funding for 2020-21.
The other communities to receive funding for 2020-21 are Humboldt, Kindersley, Leader, RM of Eldon, Maple Creek, Melfort, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Rockglen, Swift Current, Unity, Weyburn and Wynyard
Moosomin also received funding in 2019-20, 23 different communities have received funding over the last three years.
Eight communities in Saskatchewan have received funding multiple times over the last three years—Moosomin, Kindersley, Humboldt, Melfort, North Battleford, Swift Current, Weyburn, and Yorkton.
The funding is going towards the Moosomin airport expansion project.
Eligible CAP applicants include regionally focused, community-owned airports. Eligibility for CAP should support:
Access to surrounding communities.
Air ambulance and medevac operations.
All CAP projects are subject to ministry approval. Moosomin is eligible to receive CAP funding again for 2021-22, the deadline for applications is February 24, 2021.
Each year the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure awards $700,000 in total CAP funding among those communities that have received application approval—the most a single community can receive is $275,000.
Since 2007, more than $7 million has been invested in community airports, and coupled with 50-50 matching community contributions, the program has generated over $14 million in airport improvements. A total of 50 different communities have benefited from the program since its inception.
Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator