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Aalbers looks to maintain transparency in new year

Mayor Gerald Aalbers sees transparency and openness as a highlight from his administration this past year.

In a year-end interview, Aalbers told My Lloydminster that he and city councillors are often open to engaging the public at various events. He suggests that openness is something the people of Lloydminster seem to enjoy.

“I think that generally, people were appreciative for the opportunity to come forward and speak with members of council and myself. I know council members and myself were out and about throughout the community for the full year.”

Aalbers says him and city councillors are present in the community throughout the year. He points to engagement opportunities various events like the Bells of Peaceopen houses and public engagement sessions as something residents take advantage of.

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“There was never a time you usually couldn’t find a councillor or myself at an event, and if people wanted to chat with us, we would be there.”

Aalbers says his council continues to provide these opportunities for the public to weigh in. Going forward into 2019, Aalbers says funding for the wastewater treatment plant will be in focus.

“We still are continuously working with the two provincial governments and the federal government towards the wastewater treatment plant funding application. If that funding comes together in 2019 we will be starting the engineering and procurement process, hopefully breaking ground in 2019.”

The city’s 2019 budget allocates $9 million towards the federally-mandated wastewater treatment plant, which Aalbers says is still “the number one issue.”

Going forward, Aalbers says the city will still be working on other matters faced by the community, including delays caused by construction.

“When we did construction this year it was a long process. Between mother nature and working with the contract process, we’re hoping to shorten this up as best as we can so the inconvenience in the community isn’t as great.”

Construction city’s downtown area on 44 avenue faced delays before being completed this year. Aalbers hopes to improve that process to prevent any extended traffic delays.

The city will also start preparing for the 2020 Saskatchewan Summer Games coming to the Border City. The Saskatchewan Summer Games will be hosted here from July 26 until August 1, 2020.

“There’s going to be work being done on our recreational facilities. It may not upfront like you see on 44 avenue, but in the same token, they will be carried out. So that’s going to be important as well.”

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