The Municipal Economic Enhancement Program (MEEP) is funding $2,348,953 worth of projects in Yorkton, but where is that money going? Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit and Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney announced where the money was going to go on Roslyn Ave.
The money will be spent on three projects in the city. There will be a 2021 Roadway Rehabilitation project, which will see $1,500,000 from MEEP. The 2021 Water Main Replacement program will see a $500,000 contribution from MEEP. Finally the Broadway St. East Revitalization project will have a $348,953 contribution from MEEP.
“The grants we’ve gotten from the province, along with all of the other work that’s being done, amount to more than half of our annual public works budget. So when we’re seeing this injection of funds, it means that we are able to take on projects we wouldn’t get to. So, we’re really thankful that the province is coming forward with this funding, it will allow us to do things that we simply couldn’t afford,” said Maloney.
Ottenbreit used the opportunity to highlight other projects which are going forward in the region. The health region will see facilities upgraded over the next year. This will include electrical switchgear and transformer upgrades, complete engineering assessment for emergency distribution and generators, and the replacement of 60-year-old flooring at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre. The Yorkton and District Nursing Home will see the dry sprinkler lines upgraded as well. He also mentioned how another upcoming project is renovations to the Yorkton Regional High School, which he said will bring the facility to “like new” standards, especially in terms of heating and ventilation.
“It gives us the opportunity to highlight some of the investments that we’ve made, not only as a government on ourselves within the community, but mainly in partnership with the City of Yorkton. They’ve been a very significant recipient of our past infrastructure money, even with some of our revenue sharing, but also projects like this are big in addressing the infrastructure challenges that they have.”
The MEEP funding is designed as an economic stimulus for an economy dealing with the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was directed towards shovel-ready projects with that purpose. But Ottenbreit said that it’s not just a short term economic benefit, but something for the long-term as well.
“Not real so-called “sexy” projects, but very important. Without sewer and water, a community has a lot of trouble surviving.”
Maloney said that the funding is helping the city with its infrastructure deficit, and they are grateful to be able to make much-needed upgrades.
“We are so far behind on infrastructure, especially when it comes to roads and some of the underground stuff that isn’t pretty but we need to get it done. We have about a 150 year deficit on road construction if you can believe that so it’s incredibly important. The province understands the position we’re in and getting projects done and for them to step forward and help out is really critical for communities across Saskatchewan, it’s not just Yorkton.”
The majority of the projects in Yorkton will begin next year, because it is currently late in the construction season. One of the projects which is going forward in 2020 was the one where the announcement was made, water main replacement on Roslyn Ave.