Friday, January 30, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Business licenses from here to there

By Lisa Goudy

Bob Muraschuk did business in Moose Jaw for two years.

As the owner of a small business in network marketing, he lives out of town at Resort Village of South Lake. He advertised at local trade shows at the Cosmo Senior Citizens Centre and at Timothy Eaton Gardens.

Since he doesn’t live in the city, his business license is $350 per year. If he lived in Moose Jaw, that fee would be $25.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: An evening at the Heartbreak Hotel

Rory Allen to perform for humane society fundraiser

Rory Allen, Saskatchewan-born Elvis Presley tribute
artist, performs at the Heritage Inn during the
third annual Kisses for Kritters fundraiser for the
Moose Jaw Humane Society on Feb. 6, 2014.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

People with Elvis always on their mind can’t help falling in love this Valentine’s Day.

On Feb. 14, Rory Allen, Saskatchewan-born Elvis Presley impersonator, will return to the Heritage Inn for the Moose Jaw Humane Society’s fourth annual Kisses for Kritters fundraising event.

"Last year was the first time that I ever went to the event,” said Stephenie Campbell, promotions and outreach co-ordinator with the Moose Jaw Humane Society.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Bussing set for the A-Moose-ing Race

By Lisa Goudy

Organizers of the A-Moose-ing Race are already looking ahead to July.

“It’s a charity event that benefits the Kidney Foundation of Saskatchewan. It promotes awareness to the importance of organ donation,” said Brad Stewart, challenge co-ordinator of the race. “Basically our race is designed for teams of two to complete challenges spread throughout the city and surrounding areas.”

Similar to the Amazing Race, each team will be given a clue sheet with hints of where between 15 and 20 different checkpoints are located. 

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: A sinceriously good way to live

By Lisa Goudy

I think we should all aim to act and speak in a sinceriously manner to one another.

Ever since actor Stephen Amell, best known for his lead role on the CW showArrow, came up with the word and its definition, his sinceriously campaign took off. By ordering a shirt with the definition of sinceriously on it and a sketch of Amell, all funds will be donated to charity.

The campaign is to raise money for two charities – Stand for the Silent, an anti-bullying campaign, and Paws and Stripes, which provides service dogs for wounded military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Read more

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Raising revenue sharing concerns

Coun. Dawn Luhning and Mayor
Deb Higgins are pictured at the Jan.
9, 2015 budget committee meeting.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Some councillors are concerned about this year’s revenue sharing contribution from the provincial government.

Municipal revenue sharing has been a reliable source of funding for municipalities in Saskatchewan. On July 23, 2014, the Government of Saskatchewan announced municipalities would receive an additional $8.3 million in 2015 because of an increase in provincial sales tax (PST) revenues in 2013-14.

However, with falling oil prices, the formula might be re-evaluated.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A possible inconvenience for firefighters

Water main breaks could disrupt fire services

By Lisa Goudy

Water main breaks can cause an inconvenience for more than just affected residents.

A potential problem is the breaks affecting water pressure when firefighters are fighting a fire in the area, said Fire Chief Rod Montgomery with the Moose Jaw Fire Department. Each truck carries 1,000 feet of four-inch hose.

Read more

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: DFFH, police budgets are reduced

Coun. Patrick Boyle and Coun. Brian Swanson are
seen at the Jan. 26, 2015 budget committee
meeting during a discussion on Mosaic Place
and YaraCentre proposed 2015 budgets.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Councillors made two operating budget cuts on Monday night.

At Monday’s budget committee meeting, the committee decided to decrease Mosaic Place and YaraCentre’s 2015 operating budget by $50,000. This lowered the proposed city portion of funding for the facilities from $549,009 to $499,009.

The original level of funding represented a 22.45 per cent increase from the 2014 budget of $448,363. However, the Downtown Facilities and Field House (DFFH) board had requested a funding level last year of $548,363, making the requested 2015 increase a 0.12 per cent increase.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Identifying challenges with cast iron replacement

A close-up portion of a cast iron water main in the City
of Moose Jaw is pictured on Jan. 10, 2015 in city hall
following a water main break by Casino Moose Jaw.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Josh Mickleborough identified one of the key hurdles for cast iron water main replacement.

“Looking at the delivery of a project of this magnitude, the biggest challenge that we face at this point is time,” said Mickleborough, director of engineering services. “To effectively engage contractors for the upcoming construction season, we need to get out early.”

He added the “only option” for getting competitive prices is through a design build approach. This is because of capacity, turnover and policy.

Read more

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Another bulk recycling bin location is coming

Council votes to establish secondary location for depot recycling

Moose Jaw resident Doug Marr drops off some
recyclables at the Pla-Mor Palace recycling
depot on South Hill on Jan. 27, 2015.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Resident Doug Marr doesn't have any complaints about the depot recycling station at Pla-Mor Palace on South Hill, but he is pleased to hear there will be another bulk recycling bin location.

"I actually would prefer where it was by Sobey's, but since we can't have it there, I wouldn't complain. This area is accessible. I just have to drive over the bridge to come here," said Marr, who has been a resident of Moose Jaw since 1970.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: RCMP seeking serial robbery suspect

By Lisa Goudy

Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia RCMP are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect believed to have committed eight armed robberies.

“The description of the suspect as well as the security footage obtained corroborates the belief that this is the same individual committing these offences,” said Mandy Maier, Saskatchewan RCMP spokesperson during a news conference on Tuesday.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Moose Jaw Ford: From taxes to an appeal

Council discusses Moose Jaw Ford taxation issue

Jeff Glova, sales manager of Moose Jaw Ford, listens
as David Chow, lawyer and representative of Moose
Jaw Ford, addresses council on Jan. 26, 2015.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Jeff Glova had a few words to say to councillors on Monday night.

“We’re under construction on the North Service Road. We’re all very excited for it, for the future move and it brings great opportunity and new development for the City of Moose Jaw,” said Glova, sales manager at Moose Jaw Ford.

“With that said, it has been a disappointing matter regarding the 2.5 times tax increase implemented.”

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A preliminary 5.13 per cent mill rate increase

Budget committee finalizes operating, capital budgets

By Lisa Goudy
Budget committee is seen at the Jan. 26, 2015 meeting.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

If council ratifies budget committee’s decision, taxes will go up by 5.13 per cent.

The committee approved the 2015 operating budget as amended and the 2015-2019 capital budget as amended at Monday’s meeting. Council will need to give final approval to all budget committee decisions at the next regular council meeting on Feb. 9.

The operating budget’s mill rate increase of 5.13 per cent will generate an additional $1.17 million for the city.

Read more

Friday, January 23, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Quidditch Through the Moose Jaw

Members of Team Canada and Team UK engage in a game
of quidditch at the 2014 Global Games in Burnaby, B.C.
Submitted photo by Janet Hoffar Photography
By Lisa Goudy

The fun sport of quidditch is flying its way into Moose Jaw.

Based on the game from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, there are more than 400 quidditch teams in the world, 30 of which are from Canada. On Feb. 1, the first-ever Western Canadian Quidditch Regional Championship will be at YaraCentre at 9 a.m.

“It’s really fast paced and has a lot of stuff going on. It’s a lot of fun to watch. It’s a lot more intense than I think most people probably expect it to be,” said Clare Hutchinson, communications director for Quidditch Canada, the Canadian governing body for quidditch that formed last summer.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Compost bins in, green business award out

Coun. Brian Swanson and Coun. Heather Eby are seen
at the Jan. 19, 2015 budget committee meeting.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Councillors spent a lot of time discussing a line item for solid waste recycling initiatives on Monday.

Previously, at the Nov. 3 council meeting, council referred a report from the environment advisory committee regarding proposed recycling initiatives to city administration for consideration in budget preparation. Originally proposed from the committee at $52,500, city administration’s recommendation was at $33,300 in the operating budget.

At Monday’s budget meeting, councillors shuffled around some items included in that $33,300-line.
Coun. Candis Kirkpatrick first brought up the line with a question about what items would be approved under it.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Ending the trade waste program

Duane Grado speaks at the Jan. 19,
2015 budget committee meeting.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

For several years, the city has offered commercial garbage collection through the trade waste program.

This was offered to businesses located in the business improvement district (BID), which has been obsolete since 2011.

“We’re still carrying on with the premise of the BID locations,” said Duane Grado, public works manager.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: A pain we cannot know until we do

By Lisa Goudy

When someone dies, we gather to remember the best parts about him or her.

Thursday, for instance, marked seven years to the day since actor Heath Ledger died. Countless articles surfaced about him, remembering the late actor who died at the young age of 28 of accidental overdose of drugs prescribed for insomnia, anxiety, pain and the common cold.

Also this week there was a candlelight vigil for Hannah Leflar, a 16-year-old girl who was a victim of homicide, found dead in Regina the week before. Since then, two 16-year-old boys have been charged with first-degree murder.

Leflar’s funeral was scheduled for Thursday. Her obituary described her as a “happy little girl.”

We cannot possibly imagine the type of pain Leflar’s family and friends are going through unless we have experienced something similar. Even then, we won’t fully get it.

Whether it’s the death of someone we knew personally or the death of a celebrity, one message is astoundingly clear – it affects those who are still alive. 

Read more

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Eyes on the infrastructure issue

New director of engineering sees water mains as No. 1 priority

Josh Mickleborough, the City of Moose Jaw's
new director of engineering, stands inside
the Times-Herald newsroom on Jan. 22, 2015
 Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Josh Mickleborough enjoys tackling challenges.

While the City of Moose Jaw is facing many hurdles in its engineering department, Mickleborough – the new director of engineering – is up for it.

“Engineers are here to build things, deliver projects that make our lives better and I really enjoy doing that,” he said. “I’m passionate about getting things done and improving our infrastructure.”

Read more

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Solving fire equipment storage shortage

Budget committee approves fire department budgets

Fire Chief Rod Montgomery is seen by a fire
truck at the Moose Jaw Fire Department's
North Hill fire hall on Jan. 21, 2015.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Fire Chief Rod Montgomery believes a storage facility would make things easier for firefighters.

“Since these two fire halls have been built, we’ve been pressed for storage. It seems odd, but that’s a fact,” he said. “So I think we need to look at doing something where we can have all our equipment in one place and that really is the idea behind our capital budget so we can proceed with that in 2016.”

At Monday’s budget committee meeting, the committee approved the Moose Jaw Fire Department’s capital budget at $49,614 for 2015.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Working on improving parking for Scotties

There are two five-hour parking lots on River
Street East, one block away from Mosaic
Place, as seen here on Jan. 21, 2015.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

The city is trying to make it easier for people to park for the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

“Parking has always been a topic of discussion,” said Mayor Deb Higgins. “We have tried to do a couple of things with the Scotties coming.”

The Canada Cup of Curling, which took place from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 2012 at Mosaic Place, was what Higgins called “a bit of a trial run.” There were a few issues with parking that the city is trying to ”be more proactive” regarding parking for the Scotties, said Higgins.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A taxation predicament

Moose Jaw Ford owner's taxes tripled to develop new dealership

The new dealership location of Moose Jaw Ford,
under construction at 1010 North Service Rd
west of Ninth Avenue Northwest and across the
 Trans-Canada Highway, is seen on Jan. 20, 2015.
 Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy

By Lisa Goudy

Scott Evans didn’t expect his taxes to nearly triple on the lot he’s developing for a new automobile dealership.

“I’m the guy going out and developing it and I’m still getting charged triple tax until my building is complete, which, I mean,       hypothetically it could take two years,” said Evans, owner and general manager of Moose Jaw Ford.

“The whole idea of this triple tax thing was to spur development, but if all the people out there developing land know that as soon as they clear out their land to put something up, they’re going to be triple taxed, I don’t think that’s something that’s going to spur development.”

Read more

Monday, January 19, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Increased charges for sewer, water replacement

Budget committee votes to increase rates to meet user pay model

Budget committee meets on Jan. 19, 2015.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Residents will have to pay more to the city for sanitary sewer and water line replacement services provided to the public, effective Feb. 1.

“The City of Moose Jaw pays for any water line from the main to the property line, but from the property line to the house, that is what the property owner’s responsible for. On the other hand, when it comes to sewer, the property owner is responsible for the full connection from the main to the house,” said Duane Grado, public works manager.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Dealing with immediate water mains

By Lisa Goudy

Duane Grado went three weeks without water three years ago.

“The intensity of that was very severe,” he said. “We don’t normally find that, but last year with the cold weather we did experience several blocks that were out for a week.”

Residents living in three areas are scheduled to have water mains replaced this year.

At Monday’s budget committee meeting, the committee authorized the engineering department to complete the replacement this year at a cost of $500,000 from the capital budget.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Working towards a utopia of peace

By Lisa Goudy

On Jan. 16, 2015, it was 24 years since the United States launched a massive air assault against Iraq.

This operation, Operation Desert Storm, was in response for Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990. The assault started the day after a United Nations-imposed deadline expired for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait.

It marked the beginning of the Gulf War. Canada also played a role in this war during the Canadian operation Friction that included about 4,000 personnel participating in the intervention. Canada was one of 35 nations involved in military operations sponsored by the United Nations to push Iraq out of Kuwait.

War is an all-too-common act in our history and our present. In the cases of the Middle East, it is accompanied by a wealth of complex background. I think it makes it easy to dismiss or pretend it isn’t happening.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Clearing up snow route questions

Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
By Lisa Goudy

Duane Grado had a few words to say about snow removal.“

The first time we did our snow operations, I did not tow and I think I advised council I was going to do it the next time and we just completed it (Friday),” he said at Saturday’s all-day budget committee meeting at city hall.

“I think that has a success story to it. We’re still bumbling through it and correcting things.”

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Looking back on council: Vol. 4

By Lisa Goudy

Mayor Deb Higgins talked about infrastructure right from the start.

The final installment of the four-part series looking back at councillors’ platforms and what has been done will focus on Higgins.

In 2012, she stated she wanted to tackle infrastructure, such as streets, sidewalks, water lines and sewage, as well as recycling and other public services.

For her, the priority was to “put in place a long-term plan for the renewal and replacement of infrastructure, something that is reviewed yearly and renewed for where the priorities need to be.”

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Looking back on council: Vol. 3

By Lisa Goudy

Infrastructure is the main topic in the third installment of the four-part series, featuring Coun. Dawn Luhning and Coun. Brian Swanson.

In 2012, Luhning said the priorities are infrastructure, such as sidewalks, roads, sewer and water systems, as well as parks and urban planning.

"I think that we just need to dig our heels in a little bit deeper and maybe reign some of 
the overspending in a little bit," said Luhning in 2012.

Read more

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Looking back on council: Vol. 2

By Lisa Goudy

The second part of this four-part series will feature Coun. Patrick Boyle and Coun. Don Mitchell.

In his election platform, Boyle stated his focus would be on three main areas – progress, communication and growth.

He also campaigned on an infrastructure platform, stating infrastructure is a “partnership problem between all three levels of government.” He said the Moose Jaw tax base isn’t enough by itself to solve the infrastructure deficit.