With 2019 only days away, La Ronge Deputy-Mayor Hugh Watt wants residents to know 2018 was a time of progress and changes for the municipality.
Earlier this month, a new bylaw to control the sale, distribution and passed second and third readings and will come into force New Year’s Day. Watt stated in the lead up to creating the bylaw, council worked closely with the Community Alcohol Management Plan committee and said the changes were made based on fact-based information provided by multiple agencies.
“We’ve come to the conclusion one way of cleaning up some of the alcoholism in our community is to change the bylaws,” he said. “There were some cheers in the room that night when it passed second and third readings. It’s going to take some adjustments with the retailers.”
In 2018, Watt noted council also worked with the town’s employees on a infrastructure management plan and earmarked funding for various projects. By identifying problems in the town’s aging sanitary and waterlines, he added public works can be more proactive as far as identifying the sections to be repaired in the coming construction season in 2019.
Watt also stated La Ronge, Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band will continue the process of incorporation for both the La Ronge Regional Fire Department and Lac La Ronge Waste Management. A big push in 2019 will also include the construction of a new landfill site to be used by the tri-communities and surrounding area. The new landfill will be located where the current landfill is now, but will meet government standards.
“By doing this, we’ll be sharing the further debt load that has been incurred by the Town of La Ronge and just make it more equal throughout the area,” Watt said.
In 2019, construction will begin in the spring on a new public works building, and a 10-unit seniors complex in La Ronge should be completed. Council is also examining the idea of placing illuminated crosswalks signs near Pre-Cam Community School and Churchill Community School to slow down traffic. Watt noted there could also be some changes to parks in La Ronge as some people wanted to see the construction of an amphitheatre to promote music and culture.
In an effort to deal with vandalism and other issues, Watt said council will continue the process of implementing an enhanced police officer service. That would mean the town would hire three additional RCMP members, who would be tasked with whatever jobs council wants to do for 70 per cent of their time.
“We’ve been working with the Saskatchewan Police Commission about what we can do and … our options,” he said. “We are in the midst right now of starting a memorandum of understanding with the RCMP.”
With another year nearly over, Watt also wanted to extend season’s greeting on behalf of his family and La Ronge Council.
“I would like to extend a Merry Christmas to everyone throughout the community and surrounding area,” he said. “Let’s work together to build a better and brighter future for the Town of La Ronge.”
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