Tag Archives: Town of Unity

Tomorrow’s paper

You don’t want to miss the February 10th issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald. There is a little bit of everything in it. Check it out for the two pages of babies alone, to say nothing of:

  • photos and an article about the new wastewater system, now operational, at Unity SK;
  • a short history of the Unity Legion Ladies Auxiliary, who sadly are disbanding as the numbers have shrunk down to five members;
  • an interview with Light of Christ Catholic School Board trustee Gerald Beres; and
  • award winner names and photos from the Unity Wildlife Federation’s annual wildlife dinner.

Of course, there are also updates on hockey, curling and an RCMP too.

This shot of the control panel for one of the two MemFree water treatment systems at Unity’s wastewater treatment plant gives an overview of the system.

at the wastewater treatment plant in Unity SK

Nominations for mayor and council close next week

All council positions are up for re-election this year. Nomination forms are available at the town office and must be returned before 4 p.m. next Wednesday, September 21.

The Town of Unity needs people to serve their community by serving on council. (NOTE – local RMs will also be having elections and the nomination deadline there is also September 21.)

To be eligible to run for council – whether as a councillor or for mayor – you must be 18 years of age on or before election day, Oct. 26, a Canadian citizen and have lived in Unity for at least three months and in Saskatchewan for six months.

The Town of Unity has passed a bylaw also requiring criminal record checks to be done and filed with the nomination papers.

The most important issues councils make decisions on are core services such as roads and streets, water treatment and sewer facilities, snow and garbage removal, recreation facilities and programs, land use planning and economic development, building code regulations, crime fighting and prevention, fire fighting and prevention, animal control and emergency planning.

Remember council sets the policies and priorities but they don’t have to do the day-to-day work; municipal staff members are the ones who have to follow through and ensure council’s directives are implemented.

You don’t have to have education or experience in a government setting to run as a candidate. Everyone has unique skills, knowledge and experience which can help guide the decision-making process. All you need is a willingness to get involved, learn and an ability to work with others.

Volunteering and other community involvement, work experience, membership in different organizations and even managing family life can all provide relevant experience for serving on council.

Each council member brings his or her own perspective, and that of the demographic he or she belongs to, to the decision-making table. It’s best for our town when our council reflects the demographics of the town.

As a council member, you can influence changes that benefit your community, put forward new ideas, provide a voice for your community and make a positive difference in the quality of life.

Remember, nomination forms can now be picked up at municipal offices and the deadline to submit a nomination is 4 p.m. September 21.

Next week’s paper

Next week’s Unity Wilkie Press-Herald might be a smaller issue than normal, but it’s stuffed full of local news and ads for upcoming events. Check out the calendar for an events update and check out the paper for even more details on events and for the following stories:

  • next weekend is Saskatchewan’s 40th Telemiracle broadcast – check out our lead story for comments from local beneficiaries;
  • a big addition to town – Unity Community Daycare is now open;
  • Parks, Culture and Recreation Director Nicole Goldsworthy is not returning after her maternity leave; and
  • the latest on hockey playoffs.

Below, Town of Unity councillor Ben Weber, left, and Parks, Culture and Recreation Director Nicole Goldsworthy, right, July 25, 2013, on the occasion of the opening of a groomed walking path from town to the Paws Park, thanks in part to a grant from CN Rail. Goldsworthy applied for and received a number of grants for improvements to Unity during her eight-year tenure.

Nicole Goldsworthy


Positive first impressions of Unity

What do visitors think of Unity, Saskatchewan? What’s the first impression our town makes on those just passing through or popping in for a quick visit? Are there things about our community — positive or negative — a traveller or guest notices that we have become so used to seeing, it’s no longer on our radar?

Answers to those questions were sought in August, 2014, when the Town of Unity and the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce took part in the Saskatchewan Economic Development Association’s “First Impressions” program. “Volunteers from two somewhat similar communities agree to do unannounced exchange visits and then report on their findings. Participants become ‘secret shoppers’ for the day to discover what they can about their sister city,” explains SEDA’s website.

Under the guidance of Carey Baker, economic development officer for the Town of Unity, Unity and Maple Creek were partnered up and one sunny day towards the end of August, eight individuals from the Town of Maple Creek descended unannounced upon the Town of Unity.

A comprehensive written report on their “first impressions” has now been received from the Maple Creek visitors. In this first of a three-part series on the First Impressions program, we will look at what these visitors saw as strengths and positives about Unity.

For the most part, the First Impressions participants were impressed with how clean and tidy our town is, along with the green space we have.

Some comments along this line included: “lots of green space & wide streets;” “town was very neat and tidy — streets, houses, yards;” “drove every street, only two residential lots were unkempt;” “despite being overwhelmingly the first thing one experiences upon arrival in Unity, the industrial areas and facilities are remarkably well maintained and landscaped;” “residential parks are peaceful & well maintained;” and “Parkview Place seniors’ housing impressed me in a positive way because of its beautiful grounds which includes benches, flowers, vegetable garden, & fruit trees.” Although school was not yet back in session, it was noted the grass was mowed in all the school playgrounds.

Of course the regional park with our ball diamonds was also referenced. One person said, “I was blown away by the ball diamond complex. It is vast and elaborate with amazing infrastructure from bleachers to scoreboards & announcer’s booths, to concession stands. The quality of everything was exquisite. Given the scale and immaculate condition of the baseball diamond complex, it appears as though Unity takes its baseball very, very seriously.”

Town of Unity ball diamonds

Another site which garnered a very favourable reaction was Pleasant View Cemetery. “The cemetery was spectacular! The setting amidst the wheat fields, the metal gateway arch, the landscaping design, the perimeter spruce rows, and the grooming. Easily the most beautiful, best landscaped, and most amazing cemetery I have seen.”

Pleasant View Cemetery

Along with the praise for the cleanliness of the town and the green space, our downtown murals were enjoyed by the visitors. One person said, “The murals made the downtown very striking, especially those on the fronts of buildings like the Funeral Home.”

In the report summary, four items were listed as the most outstanding feature of our community: community pride, murals and green space, the cemetery and the baseball diamonds.

Along with those things, positive feedback was received about residents’ access to health care. It was noted Unity has a resident dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, massage therapists, doctors and “seniors’ housing for all levels of care.”

The availability of other professional services in town such as banks, credit union, accountants, lawyers and financial planners was also commented on.

Other highlights mentioned in the evaluation by the volunteer visitors were the dog park, KC Rescue — “what a fantastic undertaking for a community of this size” — the “OpportUNITY” slogan and signage, the Courtesy Car and the cenotaph — “extraordinary!”

Cenotaph, Unity, Saskatchewan

Businesses of note included Country Pantry, Found Treasures, Wildeman’s Sports Excellence, Chase Pilates and “the crystal store,” most of which were referenced in several parts of the report including in answers to questions such as “what … would bring you back?”

Another noteworthy business was Maljan’s Shoe Repair. “The cobbler’s shop on Main Street was like stepping back in time. What a great business to still have operating within the community!”

The North American Lumber store building was a highlight: “Loved the lumber yard! What an incredible example of that era of lumber yard architecture with the central hardware shop and the two drive-through lumber sheds on either side … Modern tin aside, the building is a gem.”

Prior to the visit, the Maple Creek people had checked out the town and other websites. The town website received a number of favourable comment, including specific mention of the business directory and of the website in general being “easy to use.”

One person’s wrap-up comment about Unity was “It was different than I expected. I had expected it to look much  more tired and rundown, and it was crisp and clean.”

Perhaps these fresh eyes looking at our town will remind us all to stop and consider ho much our community has to offer both to residents and to visitors. That being said, no town is perfect, of course, and Unity is no exception, according to our “secret shopper” visitors. Stay tuned – next week we will post a summary of their suggestions for improvement.

Frozen ground delays Unity pool construction

Although progress is being made at the site of Unity’s new swimming pool, weather has also caused some delays. According to Unity’s director of culture, parks and recreation, Nicole Goldsworthy, it is unlikely the Unity Credit Union Aquatic Centre will be ready for June 1 as originally hoped.

In order to provide swimming lessons and recreational swimming as usual for community and area residents, the old pool will be used.

Goldsworthy said, “After a meeting on February 24, 2014 with Town Council and Paradise LeisureScapes, it was determined that the installation of the walls could not proceed until the frost is out of the ground and that will likely be in May. There is still six weeks of work left to install the walls and another two weeks to pour the swimming pool deck. At the earliest, the Town of Unity may be able to open the new pool mid-July if everything stays on schedule.”

The maintenance and equipment building is almost complete, while construction on the new change house will start “as soon as possible and will be completed over the summer.”

Although the work is a little behind schedule, enough has been done to date that ensures the Town of Unity will still receive the $250,000 through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).

Unity Credit Union Aquatic Centre

Town imposed environmental fees going up in 2014

The Town of Unity passed a new bylaw Jan. 28, increasing the environmental levy fees for residents and businesses.

Town of UnityResidents will see a modest increase of $1 per month, paying $18 every three months, up from $15 per quarter.

The minimum businesses will pay is also $18 per quarter, but businesses deemed to be medium or high use recyclers will see significant increases. To qualify for theminimum fee of $18 per quarter levy, businesses need to have only one to two bags of recyclables per week.

Businessesw ith three to four bags of recyclables a week fall into the medium category and will be charged $126 per quarter. Five or more bags of recyclables per week puts a business into the high category. These businesses will pay $270 per quarter, or over $1,000 annually.

All businesses should have received a letter from the Town of Unity advising them of the changes and of their category. Business owners or managers who disagree with the category decided by the town can appeal.

An appeal form was included with the letters sent to businesses. To make an appeal, the business must fill out the form and give facts and reasons for their request to be in a lower category than the one assigned by the town. Appeal forms must be returned to the town office before March 3.

Businesses who have their own contracts with recyclers will still have to pay the minimum charge of $18 per quarter.

For now, the town will continue to use the community Loraas bins as its recycling method. Administrator Aileen Garrett said that could still change and a town owned recycling building in the future has still not been ruled out.

Should the new environmental fees create a profit for the town, Garrett said the money would be transferred to a reserve for the future. She noted, however, “if our recycling program is abused, additional costs are incurred as the town is penalized.”

Not only does Loraas charge a penalty if bins are contaminated with non-recyclables, but when garbage is left at the bin site, town employees have to be paid and have to take time from their regular duties to clean it up.

Changes on Main Street – possible new opportUNITY

Main Street in the Unity downtown has seen many businesses come and go over the years. From furniture stores and ladies’ dress shops years ago to the loss of Ultra Sports, Ridgeline Engineering and Jig’s Variety Store last year, business closures are generally a sad event for the community, the town and the customers.

On the other side of the coin, when an empty downtown building is filled with a new business, it creates optimism for everyone – the new business owners, the town, residents and even surrounding businesses. Last year, we saw Special Event Rentals, Crossfit Lair and Wildeman Sports Excellence all take up space and open their doors on Main Street. Just off Main Street, Family Foods also opened last year.

Lindsey Deroo

Along with other changes on Main Street in Unity, Saskatchewan, this former ladies’ wear shop is now a fitness facility. Lindsey Deroo opened up Crossfit Lair in May of last year, 2013.

There is still room for new business on Main Street and Sister’s Flowers will be closing soon, creating another vacancy. Of course Main Street is not the only place to have a business, as the opening of Family Foods proved, and there is other space available in town too.

The town’s economic development officer, Carey Baker, has done some research into potential businesses, businesses which do not currently exist in Unity. One business he believes would be a wonderful addition to the town and surrounding area is a family entertainment centre.

The family entertainment centre concept he has looked at is a mixed bowling and indoor playground facility, with two to four lanes of contemporary bowling, including electronic scorekeeping and glow in the dark options, and an indoor playground, such as might be found at some Burger King and McDonald’s venues, as well as a lounge and concession area.

Daycares, seniors, families, special needs, schools and special event parties would be some of the potential users of such a facility.

Baker has done some preliminary work on a business proposal for a family entertainment centre and would like to speak to people who might be interested in looking at this particular opportunity. In an email, he says this business “is one that I am particularly interested in and believe would be a great addition to the region. I cannot state specifically that the Family Centre is feasible, but would be happy to provide the information I have gathered, contacts, etc., and would assist interested individual(s) to further the study of its feasibility.”

Whether you would like to look at the details on the family entertainment centre or simply want more information in general about opening a new business in Unity, Baker can be contacted at the town office, 306-228-2621 or online at unity.economic@sasktel.net.

Unity’s Chamber of Commerce

OpportUNITY … it’s waiting for you.

With this great slogan, a partnership began between the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Unity.Unity, Saskatchewan

  • Billboards
  • Radio ads
  • A video blog
  • Newspaper ads
  • Online advertising
  • Appearances at trade shows

They all worked together to raise the profile of Unity throughout the province. In 2011, the campaign resulted in former Rider Scott Schultz coming to our community for his video blog, Global TV showcasing our town on provincial television and an award from the Saskatchewan Economic Development Association.

There is still opportUNITY in Unity as witnessed by the Chamber officially welcoming new businesses to the business community on a regular basis. New businesses receive their first year’s membership to the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce free of charge and are featured in a newspaper writeup.

New businesses and existing businesses in growth mode need employees. There is plenty of job opportUNITY in Unity, and the Chamber also welcomes new residents with a “welcome wagon” type bag. Newcomers feel appreciated at the same time as local businesses are promoted by information and/or samples being included in the gift bags.

Business and commUNITY — celebrating together

Unity & District Agricultural Society

Irene Lacoursiere, Joan Sperle and Elaine Sperle represented the Unity & District Agricultural Society at Celebrate Unity 2013. The society was recognized for 102 years of hosting events such as the annual fall fair and trade show.

The Unity Chamber of Commerce further recognizes the opportUNITY each year at its Celebrate Unity event which acknowledges new businesses, celebrates business milestone anniversaries, recognizes commUNITY initiatives such as hosting of provincial sporting events, introduces new owners and managers to the community and congratulates individuals who have provided exemplary business or public service. The celebratory evening includes a catered supper and unique entertainment each year, such as the a capella singing group Hoja in 2013.

Clark Ubell, Jaron Bearing

Kelly McLellan, left, congratulates Clark Ubell of Jaron Bearing and Hydraulic (1998) Ltd. on being recognized for the exemplary service he provides to customers. In his nomination letter, Kelly said, “So, for the farmer who has gotten his grain in the bins before the frost. For the trucker who has his truck safely on the road again. For the grader operator who keeps our streets and roads clear. For the mechanic who fixes the school buses our children ride in every day. For the town foreman who keeps things running without a hitch. And for the welder who needs to keep his business running smoothly to support his family. … Thank you.”

Stay tuned for details on Celebrate Unity 2014. And if you know of a business celebrating a special anniversary or of someone who provides business or community service “above and beyond,” please let us know! (You can comment below or talk to any member of the executive.)

For more on what the Chamber does, including sponsoring and organizing Santa Day, lobbying local and provincial government, promoting member businesses, life and disability insurance, training opportunities, Canada Day activities and the Western Days downtown barbecue, see http://unitystories.com/chamber-of-commerce/. For Chamber contact information, visit http://unitystories.com/chamber-of-commerce/contact-the-chamber/.