Annual Elrose Cemetery Clean Up – April 20, 2024

Any and all help is much appreciated.

Town of Elrose 2023 Questionnaire

 Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the 2023 Questionnaire.  Council appreciates all of the input provided and would like to take this opportunity to better inform the public on the most common concerns.

 Common Comments/Concerns

Paving/Streets Comments

  • Most common complaint – streets are in need of repair, are unsafe and need to be maintained better
  • Pave main street, 4th Ave and Railway first – others grinded up and/or turned to gravel
  • Inspect and repair infrastructure (sewer and water lines) prior to paving – don’t want to see new pavement torn up
  • Two business on Railway wreck the paving
  • Recycled shingles are a good option
  • Pot holes – fill more often before unmanageable
  • Worry that new pavement will only last a few years
  • Icy streets – need to be dealt with quicker
  • Would like to see the grader used more often
  • Dust on the streets in Town
  • More attention put on sidewalks

 -Further Information from Town:

– Over the past number of years the town has budgeted less for patching of pavement in an effort to save up for larger full-block type projects. Surplus funds have been allocated to a Streets Reserve account in order to facilitate larger projects. Larger projects save money long term with volume and mobilization discounts. Currently the town has accepted a quote to re-pave Main St from Railway to 4th Ave, and 4th Ave from Main St to Hwy 4.  The Town has a preliminary future paving plan on file for all avenues based on traffic and current street conditions.

– The majority of streets were originally paved in 1977, 46 years ago, which is considerably over expected service life even with regular maintenance.

-Recycled shingles as a dust control option was done as a trial last year and the results are positive. More streets are scheduled to have recycled shingles laid down for dust control in the 2023 budget.

-The Town budgeted over 3 years and completed a camera inspection of all sewer mains in town prior to establishing a future paving plan. Some sewer mains were identified as immediate concerns and have since been re-lined by New Line Technologies. Four sections of sewer main will have been repaired this way as of end 2023, and more re-lining funding is in place in long term budgeting

– The Town has been systematically replacing water main valves since approx. 2008 and has 38 of the 50 existing main shutoff valves replaced.

Property Tax Comments

  • Most common complaint – Taxes are too high or already high enough
  • Higher taxes is difficult for people on fixed income
  • Taxes are higher than other small towns or even cities
  • Wait till water levy is off taxes before adding new pavement levy

-Further Information from Town:

– Council was asking about a special levy for pavement to judge public opinion on the notion, no action has been taken towards a levy.

– Council is aware of tax rates in other towns and villages and is mindful of trying to balance affordability with level of service for our community. More information on other municipality’s tax rates is available online at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/municipal-administration/taxation-and-service-fees/mill-rate-returns

Town Property Comments

  • Most common comment/concern – Old hospital
  • Unused town owned buildings is an unnecessary expense
  • Sell existing lots before developing new lots and maintain what we have before expanding
  • Getting rid of old buildings and cleaning up run down lots (junk, buildings, weeds)
  • Many in favour of selling Scout Hut if groups using it have a place to go
  • WTS open more days

-Further Information from Town:

– The Town has a Demolition Reserve account established for removal of derelict properties once they become property of the Town. The cleanup of these properties is a large expense and cannot always be budgeted for in immediate terms.

– There are some properties in town that may be vacant and unsightly but the owners’ are current with their taxes and they do not belong to the Town. Those fall under the nuisance abatement by-law which is enforced by the Towns Bylaw Officer.

– The Town currently has very few infill residential lots available for purchase. A number of inquiries have been made in the past and the lots available were not deemed suitable by those inquiring for the types of builds they had planned.

– The Town is currently working with a third party company to perform Tax Enforcement  and manage the property tax arrears process.

Other Comments

  • Would like to see few more business and services in Town.
  • More daycare/childcare options.
  • Same rules, laws and opportunities for everyone – no preference to “the rich” or certain names or “who you know”.
  • People of the Town need to be involved in decisions that involve taxpayers money.
  • Lack of Health care professionals.
  • Cost of living is high.
  • Lack of housing.
  • Drainage is an issue.

Questions:

  • Breakdown of the Scout Hut costs?

Approximate annual numbers are: Power/Heat- $3000, Custodian – $1200, Insurance – $1200, Utilities (water/sewer/garbage/recycle) – $600, Repairs and Maintenance –  $500.

  •  Why was money spent on a Town Office upgrade?

The office had not seen any major interior update since being built in the 1960s. Wooden window and door frames had become rotten and needed replacement. A handful of unused spaces (public bathrooms, old police jail cell, mayor office) were opened up to create more usable areas and a more efficient and pleasant work environment. When grant funding became available for this project, council felt it was important to secure the funding and complete the necessary repairs to ensure that the Town office would be usable for years to come.

  •  Why do we not see anyone mowing the empty lots and boulevards?

As per our Bylaw 2018-4 Yard Maintenance, property owners are responsible to maintain their property and the boulevard adjoining the property.  The Town is required to give written notice and a certain time frame to the owners to complete yard maintenance themselves before the Town may preform required maintenance and issue a fine.  Town owned properties are maintained on a regular basis.

  • Can you rent out the Scout Hut and is it encouraged?

The Scout Hut is available for rent and is currently hosting regular tenants; Elrose Legion and the EnPointe Dance Studio.  Contact the Town Office for more information and to book the Scout Hut.

  • Why develop 5th Avenue and not Rodeo grounds?

This was looked at in detail and the cost of running new water and sewer services in the rodeo grounds area (none exist there) is prohibitive, as was the amount of drainage and landscape work required there at this time. Additionally, the currently surveyed lots there are not sized to meet the needs of 2023 and would need to be redrawn; another cost.  5th Avenue was utilizing services for one side of the street and purchasing additional land was more cost effective to create new lots versus running underground services to Rodeo Grounds.

  • Are Council Meeting minutes made available?

Yes, both by request at the office and online at Elrose.ca

  • What other options have been discussed besides paving?

Gravel and/or the recycled shingle product have both been discussed, as well as sand sealing/chip sealing but the level of service and the maintenance costs of these options make them less suitable for our town long term in council’s opinion.

  • How does Town input into the Uniplex compare to input into the Library?

The Town is currently contributing $36,000 per year to the Recreation Board and  Regional Park, along with ⅓ of accounting costs, as well as ⅓ of the Director of    Recreation, Culture and Promotions’ salary (evenly split between the Rec Board- Town and R.M.)  Currently the Town is contributing $16,350 to the Library annually.

  • Is there hope for the old hospital to be cleaned up and who pays for that cost?

As previously mentioned, the Town has a reserve account in place for derelict buildings to be demolished once they become property of the Town.

  • What is the vision/direction for economic development or business succession planning? 

The Town has an economic development tax incentive policy in place. The policy details are available at the Town Office. It includes discounted taxes on a 3 year term for new businesses and expansion of current businesses.

Common likes and positive comments:

  • Love living in Elrose, very friendly community
  • Safe, quiet and friendly
  • Great to have the Fire/Ambulance and the Dr Clinic
  • Great community involvement and willingness to support
  • Most essential services are available in Town
  • Well maintained Uniplex, School and Library
  • Council has Town in its best interest
  • Good place to raise kids (lots of activities available)

View PDF here




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