Mayor shares thoughts on the past year

Major projects underway, new governance model in place, tax increase avoided as council completes first full year together

Kenneth Brown
of The Clarion

It’s been an exciting year in Kindersley with construction starting on a new pool, and Mayor Rod Perkins says he believes council has done well in its first calendar year together.

The Town of Kindersley embarked on a couple of major projects in 2017 with a new aquatic centre on the go and the Western Regional Landfill taking shape west of town. It was also a year of change for town council with six of seven members first being elected in the 2016 general election.

Mayor Rod Perkins

Council has adopted a new governance structure after doing away with the Carver Governance model late in 2016. Perkins said the types of decisions a council has to make are not always easy, but the new council has come together and members are seeing eye to eye.

“Everybody’s on the same page,” he said. He’s heard stories of other councils that don’t get a whole lot accomplished because members are often arguing but that’s not the case in Kindersley. “We try to come up with what works for the community.”

The mayor said council adopted its own model of governance and he believes more things are getting done in the community due to that change. He said Carver Governance was not the problem but it was not being administered properly.

According to Perkins, he and the new council have established a top-down working relationship between CAO Bernie Morton and the town’s administration, and he believes it’s working well.

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He noted that the aquatic centre project is a definite highlight of 2017 with construction starting during the summer. Perkins said steel has been going up at the site and he was excited to see the progress while he was leaving his home near the site not long ago.

The mayor said it gave him “a real sense of satisfaction” to see the building is going up and to know the town’s new council was able to get the project to this point within its first year as a group. The fundraising board might need to be updated, but the support has been strong.

“We’ve had major support from the municipality,” he said, referring to support from the community and how the excellent corporate contributions continue to be made to the important project. “The job now is to get it built on time, or close to on time.”

The goal is to complete the project by the fall of 2018. The regional landfill is another important capital project and the waste facility is expected to be completed by the summer of 2018. Perkins said the town is only one of several partners, but it is a major partner in the landfill project.

He noted that council was about to receive a report on its fire hall project, so progress is being made on it.

The mayor said the town’s lagoon project is on hold for now, but it’s ready to go if funding becomes available.

Perkins said the new council promised to reduce the size of the town’s administration and labour force, and he believes they’ve been able to accomplish that.

The six new council members have learned there are always challenges and pressures.

“Serving on council and actually seeing and hearing this stuff gives you a lot different perspective,” the mayor said, referring to water main breaks and mechanical challenges at the West Central Events Centre as some of the situations council members have learned about along the way.

One of the biggest challenges facing the town in terms of its infrastructure is lagoon capacity. There have been legal challenges concerning property in Kindersley, but the new council has been working through the battles. Perkins said the town has been able to settle certain disputes while others continue to be addressed.

The future is also on council’s radar. The lagoon and fire hall projects are important, but the mayor said council has other projects and initiatives on the go. He noted that town officials are hoping to see various items through to completion in 2018.

Council members chose not to raise taxes in 2017 and he said if the town raises taxes in 2018, he hopes for a modest increase at worst. There have been new real estate projects finished in town with more growth on the way, and mall and Main Street revitalization are important for the community, Perkins said.

The mayor holds regular office hours on Monday afternoons for people to schedule appointments to speak with him. He said he believes the mayor’s hours have been a good way to communicate with the community.

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