By Tim Kalinowski
According to Mayor Blake Campbell Gull Lake is looking forward to a great year ahead. With a growing community, a good economy and some great community participation events planned, he hopes Gull Lake residents will be walking tall and feeling proud throughout 2014.
“2014 will be a good year for Gull Lake if we continue on the path we are right now,” says Campbell. “I think we put all efforts in toward getting our committees going and geared-up it will end up being a great year.”
Campbell says the biggest thing he would like to see from town residents is more willing volunteers coming out to serve on local committees such as Tourism and Economic Development.
“These committees, I think, are important to the future of the community. So if some residents can give some time to these committees, I would certainly encourage them to do so.”
According to Campbell he is also looking forward to extending the consultation process with local businesses, begun last year with downtown businesses, to the industrial businesses in town in 2014.
“We want to meet with them and determine what their needs are to see if they civic government can do anything help them with any concerns or plans they might have,” says Campbell.
In terms of infrastructure, Campbell says the Town will do some paving and street repair this year once they determine where the most need for it is. They will also be installing a new filtration process at the Town’s Water Treatment Plant as the switchover to well water has increased concentrations of certain minerals, like iron, which are from time to time clogging up the current filtration system, forcing more periodic back-washes to clean out water lines.
“We have an issue with the filters which were originally designed for surface water …We will be installing a new system on a trial basis to see if that fixes the problem. If it works, we will then look into purchasing the equipment. For now though it is just a trial.”
Campbell says one of Council’s main concerns this year will also be pedestrian safety along the truck route. Two more pedestrian crosswalks will be installed. One on Proton and 2nd Street going toward the pool, reinforcing pedestrian right of way at the current 4 Way Stop. The other will go across Rutland and 2nd Street where the truck route bends. Campbell hopes these two new crosswalks will lead to greater pedestrian safety and may also reduce through-traffic speeds.
“We getting some concern from people about traffic safety in town,” explains Campbell. “We’ve had concerns about kids walking across there because we have a lot of heavy traffic going through. I am hoping with the new crosswalks it may start slowing some of that traffic down because we do get complaints that some of those vehicles are going faster than the speed limit.”
Outside of these practical, infrastructure measures the community will be undertaking, Campbell hopes Gull Lake residents will find more ways to participate in the community and give expression to their Gull Lake pride and community spirit. To this end, the Town will be sponsoring Communities in Bloom and the In Motion Community Fitness Challenge again this year. Campbell says the more people who participate in such events, the more community spirit will be generated by them, and the more other communities will hear and know about Gull Lake’s success and community pride.
“I think programs like that help to instil a sense of community pride and gets people to help focus on the community,” says Campbell. “With new people in town they have a lot of positive things to say about the town, and I think we do all have a lot to be proud of here. Our forefathers have certainly handed off a gem when it comes to the community. Our focus has to continue to be positive and looking forward into the future.”