2019 was a strong year for our community with a clear focus on diversity, environmental services, protective services and local opportunities for community engagement.
The community of Kamsack elected its first Aboriginal representative, Karen Tourangeau. The historical impact and significance of her election cannot be understated as Town Council now moves forward with greater diversity and perspectives. Karen states, “I will do my best to support our community during my time on Town Council, with special attention given to my work with Kamsack's youth. Young people are our future”. We look forward to Karen’s continued influence.
Regarding our environmental impact, Town Council passed a zero per cent increase on residential and business taxes for 2019 due to the uncertainty of the Carbon Tax and its impact.
We are happy to report on our improved services. Municipal services were studied and improved upon to maintain our environmental stewardship. The primary lagoon was dredged to remove solid build up, providing a longer life for our water treatment processes.
In addition, the adapter in the second water well was replaced and the ground water was sampled to ensure its safety. An engineering study, meant to determine the remaining capacity of the landfill and prolong its use, was also completed to ensure this service remains available for years to come. Kamsack is, and remains, a strong environmental partner as we strive to provide quality services to our residents and the surrounding areas in a way that is both sustainable and environmentally friendly. Building upon the goal of upgraded municipal services, we also saw improvements in our fire department.
The Kamsack Volunteer Fire Department received important recognitions and equipment in 2019. Captain Mark Forsythe received an award recognizing his 25 Years of Exemplary Service, and Lieutenant Kristin Solvieg Johnson received the 2019 Fire Fighter of the Year Award. The department also welcomed four new volunteers.
We are truly indebted to these tremendous volunteers as they work tirelessly to protect our community. To assist in their undertakings, Pumper Truck Number 4 was replaced with a new 2018 Rosenbaum Pumper Truck.
Beyond improved services, Kamsack also saw increased opportunities for community engagement. Canada Day celebrations were very successful as residents and visitors alike enjoyed a parade, delicious food and drink, a variety of outdoor and recreation activities, live music and fireworks. We were also able to host the first ever Summer Street Fair, with a focus on local artisans and a performance by Sask Express. And, most recently, we were able to host Moonlight Madness, which included the Santa parade, live entertainment, sweet desserts and drinks. We thank everyone who made these outstanding events possible and everyone who celebrated with us. With such a strong foundation, we are very excited for 2020!
As we look forward, Town Council has a number of ambitious goals to improve our community and the opportunities experienced by our residents. These undertakings are primarily focused on increased accessibility as well as improved community infrastructure and programs.
In regards to increased accessibility, we want everyone to enjoy our wonderful facilities to the greatest extent possible. To achieve this goal, we are adding a zero-depth entry and a toddler pool to the swimming pool as well as a chair lift to the Broda Sportsplex. After each project is completed, these facilities will be easily available to many more people. The Recreation Department is also exploring options for accessible washrooms at the Broda Sportsplex. In line with these improvements, Town Council is pursuing enhanced infrastructure and community undertakings.
As always, Town Council remains committed to maintaining and upgrading municipal systems and buildings in a cost-effective manner to secure the well-being of our community now and well into the future. As such, we continue to prioritize the asset management tracking system and its ongoing use.
Town Council is pursuing a municipal drug strategy with our First Nations neighbours and local health care providers to establish a grass roots solution to turn the tide of the opioid crisis impacting our community and the country as a whole.
We will also welcome a new doctor to our community shortly as we strive to employ four full-time physicians at the health clinic and provide the local population with the opportunity to access a family doctor.
Town Council will be exploring ways to utilize vacant space at the Crowstand Centre to increase access to arts and culture programming very soon.
To learn more about 2020 and to have your voice heard, please reach out to the Town office or Town Council. Together we make our community stronger and our vision for 2020 only benefits from increased engagement.