by Sierra D’Souza Butts
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The town of Moosomin has achieved various infrastructure and recreation projects throughout the year of 2021. Mayor Larry Tomlinson speaks about how much the community has achieved during what he calls its catch up year.
Looking back throughout 2021, what were the highlights for Moosomin?
“One of the big things we did was implemented a new safety program. This included updated training for employees on the equipment they operate, which they never had before.
“We purchased safety equipment such as fire proof cabinets, safety harnesses, eye wash and safety stations, new first aid kits and cabinets, confined space tripod and air tanks. Also through Campbell Consulting Ltd. in Regina, was drafted a complete safety manual and policy and procedure manual.”
“The town also purchased ‘Site Docs’ software program, where all employees in Public Works and Recreation complete an assessment prior to starting a job, and digitally record safety concerns, equipment used, weather conditions etc.,” says Tomlinson.
“We crushed gravel using our own gravel pit for $107,000, we paving and curbs—we spent about $905,000 on that. It was a little bit more than other years but it was a bit of a catch-up year. We had taken the money from reserves to do this amount of work because you cannot get the company that puts in the concrete curbs for small jobs, so to do this work we ended up transferring $250,000 from reserves.
“We got Clifton Engineering to work on our landfill and performed our annual piezometer testing and reporting, that was another $20,000. The point of the piezometer is to test the water quality, so we’ve got a lot more piezometers added down below.
“We did a Solid Waste Management Plan to look at costs to either create a new engineered cell at the landfill, or close the landfill and construct a transfer station to haul solid waste out of town, to an approved facility.”
“We obtained a $55,000 grant for a new MOTOH bus and the community raised the remaining $45,000 to buy a $100,000 bus.
“Then working on our new water treatment plant, we had to get a Climate Lens Assessment done but we’re still waiting on approval from the town application for grant money under the ICIP. The province has approved it—we just can’t get the federal government to.
“We also had potential seepage at the Lagoon but we’ll be working at placing rip-rap around the newest Lagoon cell because it’s experiencing erosion.
“The Public Works Department did two blocks of water replacement on Ellice Street. Re-lining more sewer mains, we haven’t received the invoice yet but it’s probably going to be in the neighborhood of $300,000.”
“As for recreation, at the Bradley Park we’ve had a new walkway, the Gazebo, a Home Hardware Field, we completed that drainage project, near the soccer field at the south end which was built to keep the water away. We did a lot up there, the sound system and bridges, the Batting Cage, Liberty Swing which was a big one, Home Hardware put another announcers booth, the storage building fir the Moosomin Minor Ball was another one,” Tomlinson says.
“We did that big tree project at Bradley Park, 150 new trees were planted. Then we purchased a tractor and front loader for Parks and Rec so they had their own.
“We put a new tarp on the swimming pool, which the RM of Moosomin helped with. In Rec, they also purchased 250 additional red plastic chairs and a new Score clock. There was also 10 deck patio heaters and eight fencing panels purchases for the Sportsplex, that’s about it. It was a big year.”
What were some of the challenges during the year?
“Well some of the challenges was to get it all done, that’s probably one of the biggest ones, but we have a really good staff. They worked hard all year, it’s been really good. Everything kind of fell into place this year, which was really good.”
What do you see in store for 2022?
“We have to keep pounding away on infrastructure, that’s a big one. We’re lining sewer every year here, we’re going to dig some more water lines, a lot will happen. The road connecting the hotels to Celebration Drive, that will be completed in the spring. It will have to sit for at least a year before that gets paved,” Tomlinson says.
“Those are the plans for next year, dig more waterlines, replace more water lines, we’ll be relining more sewer lines. There will be a lot more paving next year as well. The water plan will be a major plan for the next couple of years, we hope to start by next year but we’re not sure, mainly because we don’t have that federal funding.”
In 5 to 10 years down the road from now, what do you see for the town of Moosomin?
“Well, I have three years left in my term, and we have to keep going on infrastructure, and the water treatment plant. That’s two main ones, other than keeping up with paving and everything else,” he says.
“The plan that I have in the back of my head for next year, is we will be done paying for the Lagoon and the hospital. Then we were thinking the water treatment plant would take over for next year, so our funding would change but it’s not going to affect the taxpayers in a huge way, because we’re done paying for two major projects and we’ll start paying for the water treatment plant, if it gets approved. You always have to be building and investing. If you don’t do that, then you’re not going to grow. You have to invest.”
As mayor, what are you proud of from this year?
“Well we needed a safety program and we got that, I think getting the water plant to where we got it this year is something to be proud of too. Also a lot of things done in recreation, Mike’s done a tremendous job there and our fire department is second to none, it really is. This year was a catch up year and we did, we caught up.”
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator