RM of Shellbrook finalizes funding list for provincial program

Reeve Doug Oleksyn/Herald File Photo

The RM of Shellbrook has chosen its projects for the province’s Municipal Economic Enhancement Program (MEEP) funding.

After discussing their possible share of the $150 million MEEP 2020 funding in the meeting in June they finalized what they would send to the province at their regular meeting on Wednesday July 8.

“It’s a two year plan and saying that you would still so we would have some ability to shift as long as, I think there is nine qualifying areas that this money would qualify for. So it goes all the way to , like the city was talking about to crushing gravel, to hard inventory for the offices,” Reeve Doug Oleksyn explained.

“So we went over a couple to make sure they fit into the criteria and then formalized and they will go into the province so they will work on it,”

Each project and its schedule is managed by the municipality receiving funding.All MEEP 2020 funding must be used by March 31, 2022.

“And we had dealt with an auditor’s report and so that will be forwarded by the administrator so that we qualify for funding,” he added.

The council discussed what was needed with foreman Bill Aug. Some of the possible work included clay capping on roads, insulation on an older shop and a water station in Shellbrook which uses a reloadable card option as opposed to cash. The old system was causing many issues according to Oleksyn.

“So we went over a couple to make sure they fit into the criteria and then formalized and they will go into the province so they will work on it,” he explained.

“(We also had a) discussion in general on some of the other stuff like the office was in need of new photocopiers so that would qualify for some of the MEEP funding. We will be looking forward and finalizing some of the stuff with the hamlets because the MEEP funding is on a per capita basis so both Crutwell and Holbein will qualify for some,” Oleksyn said.

For example Holbein is looking at a lagoon that is in need of maintenance.

The meeting was also the first since February to have the majority of council present in person along with administrator Duane Storey and Aug coming in for a regular update.

“It’s actually the first meeting that the majority of the council was in and just the administrators with the exception of one that attended by phone and so we had a full compliment there,” Oleksyn said.

In the oral reports by various councillors an area addressed was gravel mapping and bad spots in each division. Aug addressed their concerns as gravel work has begun in the RM.

“We also have gone through the equipment lists starting on the five year plan so the foreman was there that will keep on going towards asset management and stuff like that.

Some of the councillors had requests for particular points in their division. Topics addressed included gravelling and gras cutting.

Oleksyn explained that the RM and town have been meeting to make plans about reopening the shared office for a few days a week in a similar fashion to what the RMs of Buckland and Prince Albert are doing.

“It is just how comfortable the people are inside,” Oleksyn said.

One area of concern is the recent spike in unrelated cases of COVID-19 in Prince Albert and area.

“I think with the COVID-19 again around P.A. so people have been saying you have to be extremely careful. So we are going to try the opening,” Oleksyn said.

Measures include available masks, hand sanitizer and the installation of plexiglass.

“And if you get a jump that you are seeing in and around P.A. And if it gets too high they would go back to where they were with closing.”

Other matters dealt with at the meeting included a land sale that is partially in the RM and an adjoining one. They also continued work with the Shellbrook Recreation Project Steering Committee.

“And we had done it last year we just forwarded a loan and then once they qualified for funding then there is a repayment. Just we had done the same thing so that will allow them to continue on and finish some of the stuff,” Oleksyn said.