by Rob Paul
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
At the regular Rocanville Town Council meeting on Wednesday, the council passed a motion to have Scott Norton build nets for the outdoor rink. The frames of the nets will cost $375 each and the netting is $200 each for a total of $1,150 for the two nets.
The current outdoor rink is temporary and came together as a result of the current Covid-19 restrictions for indoor rinks. A permanent outdoor rink for Rocanville is a long-term goal for the council and they hope to have one ready for next winter.
At the previous council meeting there was discussion on a location for a permanent outdoor rink, specifically an area behind the curling rink. They hoped to level an area and have boards up so the outdoor rink can be used for next winter.
“It’s a temporary outdoor rink, but we’re going with a permanent one sometime next year,” said Administrator Monica Pethick. “We still haven’t decided the location and we’re working on fundraiser ideas right now.
“We want to wait for spring runoff to show us where we shouldn’t put it. We’re thinking it will go behind the rink somewhere, but there’s a question of drainage there so we’re waiting to see what it does before we decide.”
Social media/app for town
Councillor Owen Wilson brought up the idea of potentially setting up an app and expanding Rocanville’s social media presence to help keep residents informed.
Wilson mentioned that the City of Moose Jaw has developed an app specifically for their area to allow for increased communication between the municipal government and residents as well as ease the process of paying bills, booking facilities, scheduling events, alerting residents of issues, etc.
Moose Jaw has an IT department that developed the app specific to their city, according to Wilson, but Councillor Tristan Bell pointed out that Rocanville could use an existing app called MyCivic Services for a similar purpose.
Although this would be a long-term goal of the council’s, they were in agreement that in the short-term they can focus on social media to help keep residents in the loop.
“Having updates on Facebook can help a lot too,” said Wilson. “More people are on Facebook than not and if they just type in ‘Rocanville’ they would be able to find information.”
“A lot of the people who aren’t on Facebook are on Instagram and you can link posts between the two,” said Bell. “Having posts up on both would help get information out to everyone a lot quicker.”
Council agreed that relying on the community calendar to get information out to residents doesn’t necessarily work as well as it used to with much of the younger generation getting local information online.
With that in mind, the council plans to continue to discuss the topic of increasing Rocanville’s social media presence.
Repealing of bylaw
As part of the restructuring of how Rocanville’s recreation facilities are managed, the council repealed a rec bylaw that says for the RM of Rocanville to provide funding and help in the creation of the Rocanville Parks and Rec board.
The council spoke with the RM prior to repealing the bylaw to ensure they’re on the same page.
“It actually doesn’t say anything about funding in the specifics of the bylaw, and it just has to do with the set up of the committees,” said Administrator Monica Pethick. “We actually have a separate bylaw which says they give us a grant every year—so it’s not a joint funding, it’s a grant. The RM wanted this as well because their RM also supports Esterhazy and they’re not part of their (recreation) system so it make senses that they’re not part of ours.
“They’re happy to give money, but the buildings are ours and so they’re okay with not having a say in what we do.”
The town is in the process of moving away from the previous structure of having facilities managed by individual boards towards having Rec Director Andrea Logan overseeing all of the recreation facilities and the boards in place to support her.
With the new structure, Logan would oversee more of the day-to-day management of the facilities with scheduling and staffing while the boards would be more focused on fundraising.
“Traditionally the rec board has always told the rec director what to do,” said Pethick, “but now we’re going with the Whitewood model.
“Now it will fall onto the town a lot more and it bumps the rec director position up higher, making Andrea more equal to the public works foreman. That’s the direction we’re moving towards with the restructuring.”
Rink GIC being used for ice plant
The rink GIC will not be renewed and instead will be cashed and used to pay for the upgrades of the control panel for the ice plant that were done last summer. The upgrades cost $40,000.
“The rink always put money away in the event that it (the control panel) ever failed because it is such a large amount,” said Administrator Monica Pethick. “So the deal always was that if they renewed it, it would be their funds that would be used and not town funds. We’re cashing this one in now because the other one (rink GIC) doesn’t come out for a little while. Rather than put this one back in, we’re going to take it out now for $20,000 and then take the other one out in the fall for another $20,000.”
Town approves building permit for service road
A motion was passed by council to give Bumper to Bumper a building permit for a service road. The service road is going in front of the existing building.
“They’re both (roads) are somewhat L-shaped so it’s being locked into the current one, they’re just extending it further out and using the old one as storage,” said Administrator Monica Pethick.
RFNOW fibre additions
The council passed a motion to allow for RFNOW to make fibre optic additions in town. The additions will only be going into Kentrax—the town isn’t charged for the fibre optic installations RFNOW does in town.
“When they come into town, they have to have our permission because they’re on town land,” said Administrator Monica Pethick.
“We just have to know exactly where they are in case we want to dig somewhere so we know where to avoid.”
Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator