It’s a new year, and as we are all apt to do at this time of year, we look ahead to what 2014 might bring.
In Yorkton it is likely we will see a continuation of expansion, although to what extent, is an unknown.
The dream of a new potash mine south of the city is not likely to come any closer to reality this year, than it did in 2013.
It is also unlikely the province will make an announcement with regard to a new hospital for Yorkton.
But even without those two major developments, 2014 looks to be a positive one.
Certainly we will see building continue, as several projects already underway, the Holiday Express Hotel, continued Harvard strip mall and a few others, and they will have to be completed this year.
Several other projects will start taking shape in the months ahead, the most significant, the start of construction on the Parkland College Trades and Technology Centre. That build will continue in 2015, with a planned September opening.
In terms of Yorkton’s future this is a key element of future growth.
Not only will it inject dollars into the economy through the build phase, it will open educational opportunities to regional youth for years to come.
The ability to educate to fill trade and technology jobs locally bodes well for local industry and business having access to the staff required to grow and expand. That ability should allow Yorkton to grow with fewer bumps than would occur without such educational support.
The city will also see Rocky Mountain Equipment moving the Case IH dealership north on Highway #9. The move will be positive in allowing large equipment access to the dealership, and it will also open a large chunk of commercial property to come available on the highly visible intersection of Highways #9 and #10.
While it is unknown what will take to open location, it’s location should be a draw to a business looking to expand, or to arrive on the scene with some immediate presence. In either case that bodes well for the city in the months ahead.
A new Rona north of the city is also scheduled for construction this year. The business should become an anchor for other development in that area, opening another business cluster for Yorkton.
There are of course a number of other business developments planned, like those occupying the former Canadian Tire location, and others simply rumoured, but collectively they suggest good growth through 2014.
With expanded business will come jobs, and new population growth in the city, meaning housing starts should also remain strong in 2014.
We are also going to see municipal development. Planning for a complete reconstruction of Broadway Street will move forward, and if the federal and provincial governments step up to cost-share the $40-million-plus project, we could see more than planning started by year’s end.
Overall, the year ahead should be one of staying the course for steady growth in our city, and that is certainly something we can all look forward to in Yorkton.