Well where to start? I guess the “Base Tax” is as good a topic as any.
As the mail-out stated the implementation of the “Base Tax” will result in the same amount of taxes being collected this year as in 2011. In other words no overall tax increase, in fact a drop of eleven mils on the mil rate, but because of the way we are assessing the taxes the reality is some people will see an increase and others will see a drop in their tax bill. If you are faced with an increase this is a sign that you have been getting a break in past years and now it’s time to “Pay the Piper”. The correction means we are now all paying a fair share of the normal essential services required to maintain our community. These include, but are not confined to, Garbage Collection, Fire Services, Policing, Street Cleaning etc. etc. If you feel you are being unfairly assessed write a letter to council and we will consider your concerns.
Various projects are underway or on the menu for the summer months. Quotes are in for the Tinning of the Town Shop Roof and the Paper Depot building. Initial grading of some of the back lanes took place prior to the rainy period and will be completed at a later date once it dries up. Renovation off the Campground Washrooms is contemplated. Work on the Swimming Pool preparation is ongoing and hiring of the Pool Staff for 2012 has been completed. The Pool Fence is in desperate need of repair so it is high on the priority list.
The vacant Utility Operator position has been filled with the hiring of Rob Thiessen. Welcome aboard Rob. Our main project for 2012, the replacement and relocation, of the water and sewer lines on Municipal Road is still ongoing. The Engineers have taken the levels and inspected the area and we should have their proposals next week. Then the tendering process will begin.
An exciting development is underway with a local volunteer group who are farming the eighty acres around the Town Lagoons. The plan is to turn over any profits to the School to allow various projects to be funded. I’m not sure of all of the participants or details so I won’t get into this in too much detail, instead, I will leave it up to Kelly to follow up on this project and give you all the details in a future Triangle News. I mention it only to say “well done”. This is an example of how a few volunteers with a good idea can make a big difference. I think that with the decline of our Rural Communities and services we will have to go this route more often if we are to survive.
Now to the Health Care issues. More meetings, more letters little progress. Now that our local MLA Dustin Duncan has been promoted to Minister of Health we may get more attention! Things have become so ridiculous that a request to find out how much of the taxpayers money is being paid to Sun Country to fund our Ambulance Service meets with a “we don’t know” answer. Can you imagine that those in charge of a million dollar operation don’t know how much money they have in their budget! It is looking more and more likely that we will have to pursue this information through a “right to know” application. In the mean time the delay in getting “Sun Country” to provide a 24/7 ambulance service for Coronach coupled with a Health Centre with no Emergency Services is causing our local industries to scramble to meet their Occupational Health and Safety responsibilities. A recent meeting with Sask Power and Sherritt Coal managers revealed this nervousness. Sask Power are purchasing a van with stretcher carrying capability to cover themselves when no local ambulance is available! Unfortunately this van will be for Sask Power use only and not available to the general community. How ridiculous is it that our Health District and politicians would allow this to happen? Not only are the large employers affected smaller business units in the area should be investigating their potential liability if one of their employees is injured and they are unable to transport them to medical assistance should there be no local ambulance service available.
On a brighter note I leave you with more positive news. The Health Advisory Board are presently pursuing a Doctor who has shown interest in relocating to Southern Sask. We have, through the Board, provided him with our financial incentive details including photos of the Clinic, House, Pharmacy etc. I caution that we are only one of a number of communities wooing this doctor and his wife. Never the less he plans to visit us in July for a look see. I wrestled with the decision as to whether to mention this at this time or to stay “mum” as popular opinion dictates. After all why raise hopes that may be dashed at a later date? My reasoning is I wanted you to know the lack of a Doctor in Coronach is not the doing of our local board and wanted to reassure you that we will pursue all and any opportunities that present themselves.