That oil boom that we were all talking about for the past three years is now pretty well over. But that's not to say that growth in the Energy City is coming to a halt.
Not only do we have a whole lot of catching up to do, we also have to keep a steady planning and construction pace intact.
The new southeast Saskatchewan mandate points to more business, more people, more traffic and more jobs.
We like to put it this way ... the frantic boom is being replaced by mere frenzy. Call it a miniature slowdown or stabilization if you wish. It's a short interlude in which we are being allowed to catch our breath while still quickly moving forward.
The clean coal project at Boundary Dam No. 3 is coming along as planned with the arrival and departure of skilled tradespeople on a planned basis. For awhile there were real concerns that these tradespeople were unable to find accommodations, and rest assured, the housing situation in Estevan is still abysmal, but there is progress being made.
The oil boom has settled into a mere torrid pace now. There is no longer a sense of panic, but there is a definite sense of having to be fast paced and prompt in this new era of high costs and slightly lower returns. The margins are getting thinner so efficiencies have to be sought and deployed in the wonderful world of oil production and services. The gravy on the gravy train is not as thick as it once was just a few short months ago, but it's still flowing.
The thirsty resource and manufacturing/industrial sector will require more and more power to boost their production and earnings, so there needs to be no fear about lessening demands on the electrical power production front any time soon. That also bodes well for the local economy.
Our schools are filling up, but there is still room for a few more students. Our retail business sector continues to grow unabated as do our hospitality outlets such as hotels and restaurants along with our recreational and cultural hot spots.
The demands on protective services are growing exponentially.
So all this being said, we get to the point we are trying to make and that is the fact that with civic elections looming on the near horizon, we see openings cropping up for local citizens to assume some leadership roles.
These roles are to be found at the regional school board or local council level and there will be no room at the table for the meek and mild. These are demanding times that will require people who are used to making rapid and clearly thought out decisions. We need no procrastinators, nor do we require those who prefer to get jumbled up in red tape and bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, pretending that they are movers and shakers while in reality being mere political deflectors and deflators.
These coming elections might well be a make or break situation for the Energy City and southeast Saskatchewan and it distresses us that at this late stage in the nomination process, only a few bright lights have emerged from the darkness of public criticisms.
We would love to add regional health board representation to our list of potential candidates, but as we all know now, those positions are reserved only for government appointees.
But we do get the opportunity to vote for candidates who will be willing to step up and provide some leadership ... that is if enough of them come forward to provide us with a choice.
In this era of huge growth and bright futures, it would be a shame to have to settle for a council or school board put in place through acclamation.
That's not how a city grows.