On Monday, city council will hear from city administration the results of the $22,000 citizen survey.
© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Coun. Brian Swanson speaks about his motion to renegotiate the funding formula with the City of Regina for the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant upgrades at Monday's council meeting at city hall.
Coun. Brian Swanson, in the council meeting on July 22, said he took issue with the proposal for a number of reasons.
Among those he cited were the lack of tender (the survey was sole sourced); the cost — which he said could be better spent elsewhere and on more pressing needs; and the timing, being that the survey was to be conducted by phone in the evenings over the summer months when people would either be outdoors or out of town.
The general sentiment seemingly held by Swanson — and echoed by many in the Friendly City — was the survey was unnecessary because the primary need of the city is one people have known about for a long time.
With massive potholes, a questionable grade on wheelchair accessibility, aging water and sewage lines and a host of other problems arising on a regular basis, that need is infrastructure.
The full findings of the survey will be released during the meeting, and it seems hard to imagine what issue may sit higher on the agenda than infrastructure rehabilitation when the dust settles.
To council should come as no surprise. Most of the individuals on council let infrastructure rehabilitation ride high on their agendas during their campaigns last year.
If infrastructure is identified as the primary issue, the city will have squandered the $22,000 on a survey it didn't need, rather than using those funds as Coun. Swanson suggested.
For the four council members who voted in favour of the proposal — Councillors Eby, Kirkpatrick, and Boyle and Mayor Deb Higgins, that would be bad news.
For the City of Moose Jaw, which sorely needs infrastructure rehabilitation — and which should, as Coun. Swanson has suggested numerous times, prioritize that goal — it will be a realization long overdue.
It is admirable for a politician to consult with the public on projects and expenditures that will directly impact them as taxpayers, but $22,000 is a steep price tag in a city we have been told is cash-strapped to learn what most in the city already know.