“2023 will see the completion of the wastewater treatment plant – to my relief,” says Mayor Gerald Aalbers.
Aalbers spoke with MyLloydminsterNow about the past 12-months and upcoming projects in the new year.
“This has been a six-year journey that I’m looking forward to seeing come to an end from the perspective that it becomes operational and we continue to move forward,” says Aalbers about the $81.5 million dollar plant that is coming together with bi-provincial and federal funding.
Aalbers delved into the next big ticket item – the proposed Lloydminster Place. He said council is still looking for funding and discussions will continue in the new year with a view to making a final decision.
Another matter for 2023 is the downtown area redevelopment plan. Aalbers says this will start from underground.
“People often ask me, why do you have to dig up the whole darn street – because if we don’t do it now, sure enough in five years after we do the surface works and the failure of the piping (occurs), that’s when someone will be looking for the mayor of the day and the council of the day saying, why didn’t you guys do that right the first time.”
The replacement of underground pipes downtown is expected to commence in June and run for five-months weather permitting. The entire vision for the downtown area will be ongoing over several years, said Aalbers.
Looking back Aalbers says it has been an exciting 2022 leading into 2023 and even further, 2024 as the Border City will host the Saskatchewan Summer Games.
He lists some high points of the past year as the return of the Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show and having both the Alberta and Saskatchewan premiers present. As well, the opening of the new fire hall and the move of the public library to the mall.
The mayor held some special praise for the U13 Blazers female hockey players who won the Chevy Good Deeds Cup which came along with a $100,000 prize.
“The recognition those girls brought to our community – the awareness. I think it’s the awareness even more than the recognition. The money is always great, but the awareness of issues for those that have accessibility challenges. It definitely elevated our community. It spoke to the youth of our community being motivated to get involved.”
In extending best wishes to the community, Aalbers celebrates the generosity of community members and non-profits saying it gives him “a great deal of comfort knowing that our community cares.”
“I just want to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas – from myself, my family; on behalf of the council and the city. We know that this is a time to enjoy and to connect with family and friends – and be prepared for a great year in 2023. I suspect from an economic perspective, we are looking forward to some great announcements in 2023,” says Aalbers.