The Estevan city council accepted the budget for 2023 after they released it last month to collect public opinions.

They received just one formal reply back, focusing on some of the intersections on major streets in Estevan.

City Manager Jeff Ward commented on that reply and how the City's working on it.

"So we've had the budget out for a month just to see if we'd get any feedback. We did receive one comment, just that every traffic light on King Street, Souris, 4th Street, and Kensington should have visible countdowns attached. I know (Norm Mack, Roads and Drainage Manager) is working with our traffic light distributor that as we're upgrading control panels we are putting the countdowns in."

Also, the council had previously received an inquiry about putting more beeping or other audio indicators at crosswalks for the visually impaired, which would be handled by the same distributor for any future upgrades.

Next, Councillor Lindsay Clark raised the topic of the snowstorm in late December, which incurred extra costs from the city's snow-clearing programs, and whether those would be included in 2022's budget or carry over into 2023.

Ward answered that the invoices were coded to be part of the 2022 budget, and the only effect may be that the end result for snow removal is slightly higher than forecast for 2022.

Councillor Rebecca Foord then made the statement that the budget for 2023 would be focusing on upgrades that would be less visible than 2022's, but would still make a good impact on the city.

They then discussed a bingo night some of the councillors had gone to recently, with Councillor Shelly Veroba saying that many of the attendees there were happy with the budget. She also noted that Estevan had a zero-per-cent tax increase this year, below many other cities and towns in the province.

Councillor Kirsten Walliser, answering over a video call from Saskatoon, echoed those sentiments saying that she'd gotten positive feedback from residents on the past year's budget and saw a lot of helpful additions coming in this year's budget.

Mayor Roy Ludwig attributed some of their success with the budget to paying down debt payments over the years, from $47 million to around $12 million. He said both the current and previous councils deserved a lot of credit.