The highlights of 2013 for Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney did not occur just within the confines of City Hall and its decisions.
“The college, the announcement of that funding coming through was huge,” said Maloney.
Maloney said the province came on side as a partner in the project after seeing the local interest, including dollars to see the new Parkland College Trades and Technology Centre move forward.
“The government couldn’t really say no,” he said.
From a city perspective the new college holds much potential beyond the educational opportunities.
“The potential spin-offs for the community are huge,” offered Maloney, adding “education builds community.”
Maloney said when students spend time in a community “they establish some roots, and sometimes they end up staying.”
With some 300 students attending the expanded college annually in the years ahead the Yorkton Mayor said if even a few stay each year, it will mean more people, new businesses and overall growth for the city.
Next Maloney turned a moment of community pride for a 2013 highlight.
“The Terriers winning the SJHL (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and making the western final was big,” he said, adding it is great to see the local Junior franchise doing well given the amount of work volunteers put into the club.
Maloney said it is also good to see the Terriers back atop the standings this season.
“The season was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but they’re doing very well,” he said.
The opening of a new Canadian Tire store also made Maloney’s highlight list.
“You know how big that is for Yorkton. What a draw,” he said.
Business growth also made the Mayor’s list of what lies ahead in 2014. He said the announcement Rona will be building in the city in the new year, the redevelopment which will see the Case IH dealership relocate north along Highway #9, and continued work on the York Colony subdivision are all important steps for the community in the new year.
“Next year doesn’t show any signs of slowing down,” he said of growth, adding the city seems to continue to attract business growth, which in turn creates jobs and builds community.
And then there is the proposed reconstruction of Broadway Street, a multi-million dollar project which would include an upgrade of underground infrastructure such as storm sewer and water lines.
The City would like to start the project in the new year.
“It all depends upon grants. It depends what grants come in,” said Maloney. He said it’s a case where both the federal and provincial governments need to participate as financing partners. “If they don’t we can’t afford it.”