The Town of Preeceville sent three councillors and its administrator to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipality Association (SUMA) convention held on February 1 to 5 in Regina, and they admitted to coming away with mixed feelings.
Delegates Darin Newton, Welma Bartel and Stacey Strykowski all walked away with a mixed set of emotions. Lorelei Karcha, Town of Preeceville administrator also attended the convention.
“This is an annual event where elected representatives from municipalities across Saskatchewan get together to attend learning sessions to help us, as well as network with other municipal leaders,” stated Newton. “
My big takeaway was that the provincial government is pushing for regional projects, for towns and villages to work together to share knowledge and resources to benefit all parties involved, and thus saving the province money due to less actual projects," said Newton.
Newton attended sessions that involved bracing for disasters with emergency preparedness, re-routing waste, organics and plastic, bolstering partnerships for growth in towns and villages, and dialogue with the ministers.
Newton also attended the environment session where he posed a question to Minister Duncan regarding if there was any thought to re-opening any of the conservation offices that were closed last year. Newton said the basic answer was no, but if people wish to meet with a local conservation officer, they can call the toll-free number and make an appointment to meet one at the local office.
Newton also attended the trade show, where he talked to a number of exhibitors about issues relating to Preeceville that included: radar speed signs, frost free water valve operating rods and information from booths such as Infrastructure Canada.
“I also talked to a lot of representatives from communities throughout Saskatchewan, and we are all facing similar problems on all fronts, especially Health Care," said Newton.
Welma Bartel was very encouraged at communities beginning to work together as they are all faced with similar issues.
The RCMP issue was discussed, which opened the door to a discussion on private policing. Also discussed were: mental health issues, environmental issues and the fuel crisis, stated Bartel.
"I attended the SUMAssure meeting on behalf of the town as well as the meeting with the health minister and the solid ethics, strong towns seminar. The SUMA convention is a great opportunity for councillors to learn more and network with other communities and I always look forward to it," said Stacey Strykowski.