During last night's regular meeting of Weyburn City Council, approval was given by a unanimous vote for the 2024 Tax Enforcement. Owners of properties with unpaid taxes having received their Six Month Notice and not having not paid their outstanding taxes will be required to also pay $20 per property for a letter the City will send to the Provincial Mediation Board requesting Consent of Title on the properties. 

"They're over six months past due from last year's taxes, so there is a 10 percent penalty that goes out January First of this year, and then that penalty increases, but I think this makes them aware that, 'hey, I have to do something'. It kind of forces the issue, and they can come down and make arrangements for a payment plan if they're having a little bit of a struggle with it," said City Councillor Mel Van Betuw. 

Finance Director with the City, Laura Missal, noted that this does generally prod property owners to make efforts to rectify their back taxes with the City. In fact, she noted the City has not had to claim the Land Title for more than three properties in the past 10 years.

Councillor Van Betuw confirmed this is the case.

"And I did notice that I think this year we have quite a few less properties than we've had over the previous years, but I think it's more of a wake-up for a lot of people, sometimes it's out of sight out of mind and  other times they've just got to be pushed."

He said and it's not a priority for the City to claim the land titles. However, fair warning has been given, as these are the unpaid taxes from 2023.

"It's just a little nudge. I think all residents have good intentions, but life happens, unfortunately, and things get a little tight, and sometimes the City's not the the one that's screaming at the door, this just pushes a nudge and this is all by the Cities Act. We don't have any option to put it these liens on the property. It's not a choice by the City, it's actually legislation that would have to do that." 

Also during last night's meeting, an RFP was approved for Ground Engineering to conduct the 2024 Geotechnical Investigation Consultants Ltd. for a road assessment, which consists of a grade hole investigation and asphalt rehabilitation recommendation for a number of roadways that will be rehabilitated under UHCP funding and the Infrastructure Revitalization Program (IRP) for 2025 and the following years. Engineered road assessment reports and rehabilitation design recommendations will allow for more accurate budget allocations for the UHCP funding applications as well as for the City operating budget. The bid was for $36,750 excluding taxes. 

For the paving of First Avenue, a second and third reading of an amendment to the Short-term Borrowing Bylaw was given by Council, at a maximum of $1,000,000 with a rate of Prime less 1 percent.

The City of Weyburn's new Swimming Pool bylaw was also given a second and third reading. Two amendments were clarified by Building Official Patrick Grunert, specifically, that toddler-sized pools will be exempt, and locking gates have been added to the bylaw. 

Council approved a Property Sale for Lots 24 to 31, Block 3, Plan AZ357, after an offer to purchase from Derek Schenher for a total of 0.7 acres. The offer to purchase was for $8,640 plus GST at the market price of $12,000/acre for bare land charged by the City of Weyburn. The applicant plans to use the land for a tire repair and workshop. 

A Request for Placement of the Big C's Burgers Food Truck on City-owned land at the First Street Parking Lot was approved by Council, for periodic usage of parts of the parking lot located at the location, which is city-owned parking. They plan to operate one or two weekdays per week for lunches and on Saturdays between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

A Discretionary Use Permit was given approval for the Weyburn Trails Association to host an outdoor festival at Heritage Village. The purpose of the event is to bring awareness to Heritage Village and the adjacent trails, as well as provide exposure to artists performing. 

Reports on the Consent Agenda were approved for the Weyburn Fire Department, the 2023 Water Treatment System Annual Operating Report, and the Traffic Study recently done on Government Road and First Avenue.

The City's Director of Engineering, Jennifer Wilkinson, was asked for more information on the decision to not include a left-turning lane arrow, with options for Signal Timing Plans now in place for the new timed light standards. Based on the report from WSP Canada Inc., no lane configuration changes will be made, and the City will not be adding left turning arrows, as this would require the space currently taken up by private properties and businesses. 

"That's just not a practical scenario for the way that it's set up," she commented.

Wilkinson added the most recent traffic study was done during school days to ensure a realistic scope of daily needs for Weyburn drivers.