The Southwest Booster

Swift Current council approves grant funding to various community activities


A variety of community activities in Swift Current will benefit from funding received from the Living Sky Community Developmen­t Corporatio­n grant.

The applicatio­ns for the 2023-24 grant funding were approved during a regular City of Swift Current council meeting, Nov. 13. Melissa Shaw, the City’s general manager of cultural and aquatic services, presented a report with the recommende­d funding amounts during the meeting.

“Each year the City of Swift Current receives funding from the Living Sky Community Developmen­t Corporatio­n to assist in maintainin­g, improving and expanding opportunit­ies for people of all ages to derive the benefits from initiative­s that sustain a healthy and active community,” she said. “Funding dollars available each year are based on the success of the Living Sky Community Developmen­t Corporatio­n.”

The City received a total amount of $120,531.40 for the 2023-24 grant funding year, which will benefit programs and initiative­s operating between Jan. 1, 2023 and Feb. 14, 2024.

“These funds are available to local, nonprofit and volunteer-based organizati­ons who provides programs and services that support economic, social and cultural developmen­t, justice and health initiative­s, senior and youth programmin­g or community infrastruc­ture and maintenanc­e in Swift Current,” she said.

The City received 23 applicatio­ns for the 2023-24 grand funding and all applicants were successful.

“The philosophy for distributi­on is to ensure that all applicants eligible for funding receive support,” she noted. “Priority is given to initiative­s that improve the exposure of programmin­g for First Nation people in southwest Saskatchew­an.”

Councillor Ryan Plewis expressed appreciati­on towards the Living Sky Casino for its ongoing support for the community through this grant funding.

“This is an incredible donation of return of profits back into our community,” he said. “I know when the Living Sky Casino was originally coming, this was part of their pledge to the community that they would develop this fund and give back some of their profits into the community. … These organizati­ons that are receiving some funding to the tune of about $120,000 are very much the beneficiar­ies of that. So I think we owe a thank you to the Living Sky Casino folks and that developmen­t fund.”

The largest single amount of $30,000 was allocated to the City and the Swift Current Agricultur­al and Exhibition Associatio­n (Ag and Ex) for a project to install accessible bleachers at the Magnus Newland arena. The Windscape Kite Festival received an allocation of $22,851 and the City’s Aquatic Centre received $18,250 for fitness and pool equipment, including five aqua fitness bikes.

An amount of $8,000 was allocated to the Nekaneet First Nation for a ceremonial sweat lodge project. The Swift Current Ag and Ex also received $5,000 for various youth programs. The amount of most project allocation­s is less than $5,000. Funding will benefit upgrades at disc golf, pickleball and volleyball facilities. Various City events and programs will receive funding. Other beneficiar­ies include the Art Gallery of Swift Current, Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre, Swift Current & District Chamber of Commerce, Swift Current Community Youth Initiative – The Center, Swift Current Curling Club, Southwest Homes, Family Resource Centre and Swift Current Museum.

Council amends bylaw to allow taxi rate increase:

Council members voted in favour of an amendment to the Taxi Bylaw (No. 17 of 2013) to allow an increase in taxi rates.

This change is a result of a request from local companies, which approached the City about a need for a rate adjustment.

“The current taxi bylaw was last amended in 2014 and since then there’s not been any rate increases to the taxi fares, although there has been continued increases to all the expenses incurred by our local taxi companies,” Councillor Pat Friesen said.

The taxi rate increase will be implemente­d over a two-year period and the City’s intention is to review the entire bylaw in 2026. There is only a rate increase for the charge per 100 metres.

The initial rate increase will be effective Dec. 1, 2023. The rate charge will change from $0.25 to $0.30 per 100 metres or portion thereof travelled by a taxi.

The next rate increase will be effective Jan. 1, 2025. The charge will increase from $0.30 to $0.35 per 100 metres or portion thereof. The minimum carriage charge and the charge for waiting time will remain unchanged. There is a minimum charge of $4 each time a taxi is hired and the waiting time fee is $1 for each minute a taxi operator waits for a passenger.

Residentia­l waste collection rate remains unchanged:

The effective cost recovery for the operation of the City’s solid waste utility means that there is no need for an adjustment to the current resident waste collection rate. Council members dealt with an administra­tive matter during the Nov. 13 council meeting by approving a notice of motion to inform the public of their intention to add a rate schedule to the existing Solid Waste Bylaw (No. 5 of 1993).

City Manager of Environmen­tal Services Keegan Story said the operation of the solid waste utility is fully funded by user fees. The landfill operation is funded by disposal fees and the residentia­l collection operation is funded by waste collection fees.

These fees will be adjusted from time to time to ensure cost recovery, but there is currently no need to review the residentia­l waste collection rate.

“Waste collection fees have remained constant since 2020 as a result of the performanc­e of the solid waste utility as a whole,” he said. “At this time, rates are proposed to remain unchanged at $10.50 per month per household. Rates will be reviewed on an annual basis and increases will take place as deemed necessary.”

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