Mayor's Corner

Working grow Melville

November 2021

It was a beautiful fall run until the November 10th snowfall. The Remembrance Day program the following day was certainly compromised by the strong north - westerly wind and large snowfall. Those present greatly appreciated the efforts of the Legion members, the Color Party and the speakers and readers at the event. Those who gave their lives as the ultimate sacrifice were honored and recognized for their bravery.

During Nurse Practitioner Week -November 7-13 our community celebrated the presence of our first nurse practitioner assigned to St. Peter’s Hospital. We truly appreciate the efforts of Cheryl Kisters as she attends to the needs of our citizens. A big “shout-out” to our nurses, physicians, and staff during these difficult Covid -19 times as they so diligently serve those affected. 

Friday, November 19 saw our community come together in celebration of a “Hometown Christmas,” the result of the efforts of the Melville and District Chamber of Commerce. A beautiful evening with an appreciative and responsive gathering of people served as a warm welcome to the upcoming festive season. Well done Chamber!

Now that we are in another season we urge everyone – vehicles, pedestrians and school children to be extremely cautious during these wintery and icy conditions.

Hats Off to Tracy Kerestesh who spotted a pelican in distress at the Melville Reservoir. A quick call to the Melville Fire Department rescue team saved the day and sent the bird off to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Regina.  

Did you know that at a 1909 Melville Sports Day, the dress code of the day saw ladies adorned in long gowns and the men in top hats?

September 2021

The signs of fall are certainly upon us. The equinox of September 22 moves us into days of shorter sunlight and nights of longer darkness. “Another fall, another turned page” – Wallace Stegner.

Our community, province and country is, once again, immersed in an upward trajectory of positive Covid-19 delta virus cases. New measures to combat the high numbers of this virus have been put into place taking effect on September 17th. Further restrictions with a mandate to provide proof of vaccination is set to begin October 1st

Horizon Credit Union has provided summer ice in readiness for upcoming ice activities. Minor hockey teams, the Millionaires, and other groups all jockey for ice time as repairs are being made to the Merv Moore ice plant. Unfortunately, things get old and the limitations of the supply chain result in community event delays. Issues were identified at last seasons’ end but, unfortunately, the replacement of the aging plant has stalled because of production delays.  

A major construction project at the corner of Halifax and Main Street is presently underway as the city begins a two-year undertaking to replace the main lift station. This lift station serves as the main collection point for the four other stations in our city.  

A warm welcome to students who have begun another year in their academic and social development. Also, while we have some Millionaire returnees, we welcome the new hockey players to our city. We look forward to their presence in Melville and their on-ice efforts.

We want to remind both students and motorists to exercise care and attention in our school and playground areas.

In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th we are all encouraged to embrace the significance of the day to honour Indigenous peoples in an attempt to strengthen relationships.

Did you know that, at one time, Melville had a stockyard that was 800 feet long and could hold 50 carloads of cattle? 

August 2021

At the recent annual meeting of the Melville and District Recruitment-Retention Committee good news was presented in that St Peter’s Hospital has now a compliment of five physicians and a nurse practitioner. Our hospital attends to many patients well beyond our city and our professional Medical Team is now ready to provide quality health care to citizens of our area.

An exciting morning occurred at Future Ford where a successful fund raiser was held in support of STARS. An added attraction was the 1968 Ford Mustang that will be sold at the Barrett Jackson Auction early next year with proceeds directed to STARS.

The 17th Fire School training began at the new facility at the fire school training site. Once again students from the three prairie provinces have registered for the NFPA1001 development course. 

Our city hosted “Summertime Celebrations” on the weekend of August 6-7th. The celebration consisted of an hour long parade route through the streets of Melville followed by a hillside movie- “Toy Story Four.” On Saturday at noon events moved to Kinsmen Park where many activities centered on our young children. Hoop Dancer Terrance Littletent shared his talent and stories with our community during his colorful performance. Other performers participated during the afternoon sharing their various talents with the large crowd in attendance. The efforts of Jennifer Stein and her team were truly appreciated.

Kihew Fabco held an “Open House” of its facilities in our city on Thursday, August 12.. Our community was invited to view the different mechanical and technical investments present in readiness for future manufacturing opportunities.

Did you know that Melville Comprehensive School which first welcomed students in 1971 has provided 50 years of stellar education for the students of Melville and Area?

July 2021

Thanks to the combined strength and determination of our many provincial communities we were able to lift the restrictions associated with Covid-19. With the continued commitment to vaccination hospitalization numbers have been drastically reduced. However, there are looming variants of concern that require us to be ever so careful. In our city different event planning is occurring with the hope that these, in fact can be initiated. Covid-19 affected many in a multitude of different ways - mild to severe illness, lingering effects, contact and travel restrictions, utilizing new methods of learning and communication and untimely deaths. It has been a demanding past 16 months for so many. But, the shining light through all of this was our medical, hospital, and care-giver staffs who worked tirelessly in their effort to provide compassionate care.   

The residents of Melville celebrated with our 2021 MCS grads as they did their farewell to school days tour. Many well-wishers lined the streets as they wound their way through the city.

An exciting 4H show and sale was held at our Melville Agripark on July 5-6. It was great to see dedicated young participants from places like Norquay, Sheho, Lipton and other communities visit our city and our Agripark facilities. Hopefully, this may serve as a future Melville attraction.

Hats off to Future Ford of Melville and the Prairie Ford Dealers Association  for hosting an exciting STARS event on Friday, July 23. On display was the 1968 Ford Mustang that will be sold at the Barrett Jackson Auction in Arizona this winter with all proceeds directed to STARS. 

And alas, because of supply-chain difficulties, the swim pool will not be operative in the summer of 2021. Kudos to Chris Bruce and the Community Services Team for trying so hard to make the summer dream come true. 

Did you know that George Abel, Sid Abel, Jerry James, Brian Propp, and Gordon Juckes, former Melville residents, have all been inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame? 

June 2021

While the intent of my June “Mayor’s Corner” is to highlight the events of June it seems that I must go back to mid-May to reflect on some major events that have marked our city. The unfortunate fire of May 18 which threatened much of our city and the subsequent ice storm that followed served to bring our community to a standstill. Trees shattered, powerlines down, howling winds and rain added to our community distress. Now, as is so true of mother nature and life – that after the storm the sun does shine, the clean-up continues. Thank you to city employees, the Melville Fire Department, the RCMP, SaskPower and the citizenry of Melville and Area for their committed leadership and support during our time of need.

Life does go on and as a city we will use these long summer days to move our city forward. The pool construction, sidewalk improvements, Prince William Drive pavement, Merv Moore Ice Plant replacement and Lift Station #1 are all projects that we hope to complete this season with some projects like the lift station to be completed in 2022.

Good to hear that the 2021 fall SJHL season is on track pending the continuation of positive Covid-19 tracking. Ball diamonds, football and soccer fields are once again full of activity. 

We appreciate the levity provided by the billboard/sign banter that our business community has initiated. Hats off to those businesses that participated in this event.

On behalf of the City of Melville, I would like to congratulate the members of the 2021 graduating class as they prepare to enter yet another stage of life. Your presence in our city and community was truly appreciated. We wish you well in the future.

As a City we would like to recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 as a way to celebrate cultures and contributions of the First Nations’ peoples of Canada. Also, the month of June has been designated as Pride Month across Canada. In Melville it is a time to celebrate diversity as we recognize the LGBTQ-2Spirit Community for their talents, contributions and support to our city. 

Did you know that Trevor Shawaga, a former resident of Melville, was a member of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds?

May 2021

Thank you to all those community members who participated in the city-wide spring clean-up and disposal of waste at our landfill. A total of twenty “Bag it to Win” gift bags were distributed to folks demonstrating their pride in our city by collecting garbage.

Thank you as well to everyone who submitted the Canada Census form. Your participation is crucial in determining long term planning initiatives for our city.

Recently, I had the opportunity to observe construction at the new pool at the Regional Park. Timelines of the project appear to be on track as this exciting new configuration of the pool takes shape.

City crews keep busy as part of their summer maintenance program - patching pavement, sweeping streets, and spraying for dandelions and weed control. Just recently eight bright blue City of Melville Tourism Signs have been erected on Highways #10, #15, and #47 identifying specific tourism sites to visit in our city.

This past week was declared National Nursing Week. On behalf of the entire community, I want to acknowledge and commend our Health Care Workers who continue to serve on the front lines since the start of the pandemic.

Hats off to Lynnette Nordli, a Melville Paramedic, who was chosen to be part of the 2022 Saskatchewan Firefighters Calendar with proceeds from this calendar directed to the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

Did you know that in 1918 Bylaw Number 147 outlined restrictions to prevent the spread of the Spanish Influenza nearly identical to our present day Covid -19 restrictions?

April 2021

For a brief span of time it was felt that we were well on a way to a warm, but dry summer. All that changed on the weekend of April 11th – a real old- fashioned unrelenting prairie storm. Hopefully one last shot at the shovel and snowblowers – but there will be that necessary moisture to green up our community and grow those crops.

The April 13th additional Covid-19 restrictions require reducing the household bubble to immediate family members and church attendance to 30 all in an effort to combat the new variants affecting our communities. Please practice all the required Covid-19 protocols and do get vaccinated!

We had scheduled our Earth Day city-wide clean-up for April 22nd with free tipping for the week of April 19-24th.  Because of the heavy snowfall this clean -up will be extended to the following week of April 25 – May 1. During the city-wide clean-up this spring there will be an added initiative for anyone participating in this event. “BAG IT TO WIN” Should someone be spotted collecting debris you could be the recipient for a bag of goodies compliments of the City of Melville. 

At our April 5th council meeting we were presented with the 2020 Building Permit summary. We are very pleased to report that the building permits for 2020 reached a six-year high with a total of 56 permit applications amounting to $13,477,953.00. In the last six years there have been 285 permits issued for commercial and residential development.

Consultation with the provincial government has occurred and we patiently await decisions on summer events and activities with respect to what activities can take place and what protocols may be required.

Hats Off to Prairie Coop on the opening of their new Home Centre!

The 2021 Canada Census survey will be occurring in May. Please do your part by completing the Census questionnaire.

Did you know that our city has a total of nine snow-clearing machines – a grader, loaders, skid-steers, a snow blower and sidewalk equipment to deal with winter storms such as we had last week? 

March 2021

With the warm winds fanning our community and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions it seemed that spring and normalcy was on its way. But, the weekend of March 12 brought home a stark realization that we, too, were to be confronted with increasing cases of Covid-19 - namely the new fast spreading variant.  With increased vaccinations and the continued adherence to Covid-19 protocols it is   hoped that infection numbers can be limited.

This coming May Canada will be conducting its nation-wide census. The last census occurred in 2016 and provided our city with valuable information. For example – identifying the total number of residents in our city, age categories, male-female numbers, population change, number of private dwellings and levels of immigration. All very useful information for future planning.   

The census population numbers also determine the amount of funds that we receive from the different levels of government. In 2021, Melville will receive $905,000 as part of our provincial Revenue Share program based on our 2016 population numbers of 4562. That equates to $198.37 for each member of our population count. During this spring’s census count I urge everyone to participate in the census as it determines future grant allocations. If we can include 50 more people to our current population number that would equate to $9918.50 toward our city operations. 

Hats off to our Kinsmen - Kinettes for contributing to a most successful Telemiracle 45.  Congratulations to Sarcan on the opening of their new facility on February 26, 2021.   On March 8, we honored and celebrated International Women’s Day.

Did you know that Melville Heritage Museum once served as a training site for young men entering the ministry, then as a nursing home and finally a museum to keep our community heritage alive?

February 2021

The most recent cold snap, running a full ten days or so, certainly brought the balmy winter weather we so comfortably experienced to an abrupt end. Little rest was experienced by our faithful furnaces and fortunately the water taps continued to flow.

Strangely, in just a few short weeks, we will have been exposed to the dreaded Covid-19 for one full year. Is it over? And if not, when might it be over? We patiently wait, practice all the necessary precautions, and suffer the agony of no or very limited social connections.  No family get togethers….no large gatherings….very restricted hospital-care facilities visitation… abbreviated funeral farewells. Our sense of regularity -normalcy continues to be challenged.

The Covered Population Report issued on June 30, 2020 recognized growth in our city population from 2019 to 2020. This is always encouraging news. This year 2021, Canada will be conducting a nation-wide CENSUS. This is a very important population survey as much information is provided which serves to benefit Melville. So many provincial and federal grants are based on actual census numbers. Our city, along with Census Canada, will attempt to provide as much information as possible to our citizens so as to enable Melville residents to be active participants in the process.   

Lately, the result of a doctor shortage, our hospital has been subjected to  limited or suspended emergency services. Hopefully, with the arrival of Dr. Chattha, this unfortunate situation can be overcome. We welcome Dr. Chattha to our community.

Did you know that the 1909 Melville Sports Day located at the Third Avenue area attracted hundreds of people with ladies in long gowns and men in top hats?  

January 2021

On my Mainstreet GX radio commentary I made reference to January 1st, New Years’ Day noting the bright, sunny and calmness we experienced, with the hope that this day would serve as a possible predictor of a promising year ahead.

As we enter the tenth month of the Covid-19 pandemic, we long for the day that we may once again return to gatherings of family and friends, to carefree travel, to the addition of new life experiences, to seeking new opportunities.

For the first time during my terms on council we were able to approve our budgeting process prior to December 31 of our current year. This achievement enables our team to move quickly on projects to be initiated through early tendering and utilizing our winter season to lay out detailed plans for the construction season. Our 2.11 % budget increase is very much in line with other cities and allows us to move forward through diligent prioritization of required projects. 

When I speak of priorities the Lift Station #1 has been on our replacement list for the last four years – this we hope to attend to with an overall cost of 3.2 million. The landfill redesign at 2.55 million is also part of our 2021 budget. Swim pool completion, paving some city streets and placing 1.29% into our reserves all form part of our development plan for our city this year. 

With respect to the many activities and events our community has been involved in or hosted in the past, Covid-19 has limited these occurrences to a crawl. Many of us must respond to our work responsibilities but these work situations have greatly changed. Thank you for your perseverance and fortitude as we wait for the day when this pandemic ends.

Hats off to MCS Principal Brandon Needham who was recently recognized for his influence and guidance in reconciliation education.

Did you know that the Opera House Auditorium on the third floor of City Hall is regarded as one of the finest 100 year old concert halls in Saskatchewan because of its superb acoustics?