Gerald Aalbers wants to get the wastewater treatment plant out of the way.
Aalbers hosted a campaign-sign pickup event at his residence in the Border City on September 29, and spoke to 106.1 The Goat about the first-day actions he would take, if elected mayor.
According to Aalbers, his first priority would be dealing with the issue of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade. The matter of the plant has been circulating in municipal affairs of the City since the Saskatchewan government made it mandatory to upgrade the plant, and an attempt to secure funding in the form of the Lloydminster Utility Corporation was put together earlier in the year.
However, the proposal was ultimately put on hold by City Council. Since that move, administration has been seeking more grant opportunities, and the plant has not returned to the council agenda.
“My first action would be, as the mayor, and the current situation we face with the sewer treatment plant, will be to contact our Saskatchewan MLA Colleen Young and asked for a meeting to be arranged with the Minister of Environment and the Ministry of Environment,” said Aalbers.
“We are facing a deadline of July 1, 2017, for the new sewer treatment plant to be up and running, and as we can appreciate, we are now at the end of September, and we have, as far as I know, no concrete plans, let alone the money, in place to construct that facility. If I was elected as the mayor, I would be asking for an extension from Sask Environment, to allow us time to re-group and get a plan and a process in place so we can move forward on the sewer treatment plant.”
Aalbers also said he would reach out to the federal government about the matter. However, he said these actions would only take place after he was officially sworn in, if elected.
In addition to the wastewater treatment plant, Aalbers also discussed information he would seek from administration, focusing in on accounting, financial statements, and expense accounts.
“As the mayor, I believe that that information should be made public, but I’d like to have an opportunity to have it available as soon as possible, and I’d ask administration to produce that,” said Aalbers.
“I believe that there are a lot of people asking questions about the finances of the City. I appreciate what administration has done to this point; they’ve turned over a lot of information. I would like to see it a little more detailed.”
As for any changes he would make to the administration of the municipal government, Aalbers indicated he would want the support of council first.
“The one thing that I’ve really come to realize is that there are seven members of council,” said Aalbers.
“If I’m elected mayor, I will lead the council, and help try to set some direction, but I’m not planning on imposing anything on anyone. I would need the support of council, that I’m sure will come very quickly, on some things, because it seems to be a discussion that a lot of people are talking about.”
Aalbers also said he had been setting personal benchmarks for the first 90 days of being in office, with three 30 day stages. However, he will only release details of those benchmarks if elected.
The municipal election takes place on October 26.