An update from Kamsack Mayor and Town Council

In a phone interview with the Kamsack Times, Kamsack Mayor, Nancy Brunt shared some highlights of discussions at the most recent Kamsack town council meeting.

Mutual Aid Agreement with Hwy 49 and Kamsack Fire Departments

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“First of all, we are very pleased to have signed another mutual aid agreement with Highway 49 Firefighters from the Pelly area,” shared Mayor Brunt. “It feels very good to know we have support from neighbours in our surrounding communities in the case of a substantial emergency.”

Brunt reported that one of the Kamsack fire engine truck’s, the older one, is currently undergoing repairs, and it is a relief to have extra support on hand, if needed.

Residents encouraged to seek permission to burn

Farmers and area residents who plan to conduct open burning this season are encouraged to register with the provincial fire centre out of Prince Albert. If you plan to burn in a provincial forest, in park land, or any quarter section wholly or partly within 4.5 kilometres of a provincial forest during the wildfire season, from April 1 to October 31, you must get a Burn Notification Number.

Get your free burn notification number by contacting your local Wildfire Management Forest Protection Area Office during business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. When you call, have the following information ready: name or organization responsible, contact number(s), mailing address, email address (if applicable), burn location(s), and purpose of the burn. After you obtain your Burn Notification Number, please call Emergency Management and Fire Safety's Control Burn number, 1-866-404-4911, to let them know about your burn plan. This will help avoid unnecessary dispatches of firefighting resources to controlled fires.

With constant satellite weather tracking, the provincial fire centre can offer sound advice on which days are ideal for controlled burns, and more importantly – which days would be considered dangerous. Whether you need a Burn Notification Number or not, anyone who starts an open fire that spreads, or is likely to spread, is liable for the ministry's costs to control the fire. Your fire is your responsibility.

Town is hiring hydrologist to assess water quality

“We are moving forward on once again hiring Beckie Hydrologists Ltd. of Regina to conduct the latest GUDI assessment for Kamsack,” reported Mayor Brunt.

GUDI (Ground water Under the Direct Influence of surface water) refers to groundwater sources (wells, springs, infiltration galleries, etc.) where microbial pathogens are able to travel from nearby surface water to the groundwater source.

“It’s very important that we continue to maintain our standing with the province,” asserted Mayor Brunt. “We have excellent water in Kamsack. We want to ensure that we keep it that way and avoid any boil water advisories.”

What to expect this tax season

Kamsack residents may be interested to know that council has once again approved a flat 5% discount on all tax payments received prior to June 30, 2021. The discount is the same as what was offered to property owners last year. Council is currently working on the annual budget, stating that once that is complete, tax notices will be sent out. Delivery of notices can be expected by the end of May.

“We are working very hard to maintain balance between residential and commercial tax rates,” informed Mayor Brunt. “In the past, the divide between residential and business taxes was quite substantial, and we ranked among the bottom communities in the province with regards to that spread. With hard work, we have now made our way into the top five rankings. We always want our business owners to be happy, but without taxes, nothing gets paid for.”

Kamsack withdraws application for paving walking trail

“Unfortunately, we have had to make the tough decision to withdraw our grant application with Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) to pave a walking trail around the town. A paved trail would be accessible to bikes, strollers and wheelchairs, and encouraging healthy lifestyles. However, with an estimate cost coming in at $400,000, the town just doesn’t have the matching funds to complete the project at this time,” outlined Mayor Brunt.

Update on economic development forum

Regarding work surrounding a recent economic development forum and subsequent Kamsack Economic Action Plan, council has approved launching a formal reconciliation initiative engaging residents and leaders of Kamsack and their First Nations neighbours. More information will be shared as the initiative unfolds.

Non-profit organization hopes to build in Kamsack

A non-profit organization called Garden View Ventures Inc. has submitted a formal request, asking the Town of Kamsack to donate town-owned property to build a group home for residents with disabilities. While the town is in favour of the request, conditions regarding funding, permits, blueprints, and title changes must first be addressed.

Kamsack Playhouse struggling under pandemic

The Kamsack Playhouse, which has been unable to generate any income for over a year now, has informed the town they are now experiencing considerable financial difficulties. Despite being closed to the public, the non-profit organization says it must still come up with funding to cover costs associated with power, gas, water and taxes.