City council has accepted the funding which will be going towards the first phase of the Downtown Revitalization Project.

That total comes out to $7.75 million, coming from the federal government through the Canadian Coal Transition Initiative Infrastructure Fund. 

The federal government has asked that the city spend some money on the project, asking for the city to put forward $1.5 million which would go toward the utilities.

The project would redesign Estevan's 4th Street through the downtown core, while also updating the underground utilities on the street.

City Manager Jeff Ward talked about the process and what will be done on 4th Street.

"It's a full rehabilitation. So basically from the foundations of the buildings will be torn up all the way to the foundations on the other side. This includes all new trees, there'll be underground planters for the trees, there'll be all new sidewalks, all new paving stones, all the connections into the buildings will be redone. Obviously, new pavement, new ash falls, new (pedestrian) ramps. There'll be new street lighting. So pretty much a full rehabilitation."

Ward says that they will send out designs of the street once that has been fully developed.

The city does not have plans for other revitalization phases, with the street consisting of phase 1.

"This is phase one, which is just the street streetscape in front of the downtown businesses," said Ward, "The additional 7 phases and pocket parks and items for central parking behind Royal Bank. Those are design phases that future councils could consider. We are only doing phase one of the project currently."

Ward says the largest cost for the project will be the streetscape, covering mature trees and more paving stones for a wider sidewalk.

What kind of disruptions Estevan might see is still unknown as the city is looking for the right contractor.

"Right now there's an RFQ out that general (contractors) can look at the design, put in some of their qualifications, and some of their estimated costing. Obviously, a bigger contractor will be able to rip up more, they have more pieces of equipment, while a smaller contractor may have to do it piece by piece."

"So as we get closer to knowing what the contract to the general contractor may be, we'll make sure that we do stakeholder engaging with all the downtown businesses to see how they're going to be impacted by the scope that's being done at a certain time. 

This is a fairly significant project. As was mentioned in Council, the funding for the CCTI fund is done by March 31st, 2025. So we really only have one construction season to complete this work, so as soon as the frost is out of the ground you will see machines moving and they will be going right till October."

Ward says that the Downtown Business Association has been a strong supporter of the project.