The Saskatchewan government is expanding the responsibilities that Estevan will have to take over regarding the highways that connect to the city.

That includes the connections to the north, east, and west, as part of the province's Urban Connector Highway Program.

Maintenance of these stretches of road would include signage, grass mowing, illumination, hot patching, crack filling, snow and ice removal, and street sweeping.

The Ministry of Highways has offered its services for a contract of $15,929 annually, for some of the work on Highway 47 South and Highway 18.

To the east, the city entrance will see its boundaries moved from Kensington Avenue to Sawyer Road, which represents close to 1.5 kilometers of road.

That section will receive a payment from the Ministry of Highways for the maintenance work, to the tune of $20,887.

On the western side of the city, the new boundary will be set at Sister Roddy Road, past the old border of Kensington Avenue.

That will mean that the city will need to move the "considerable" amount of snow that the valley and underpass receive, with no compensation from the Ministry.

The north entrance of Highway 47 is now the RM Road, otherwise known as the Bienfait Grid. All maintenance and snow removal will be taken care of by the city, with no compensation from the ministry.

According to Roads and Drainage Manager Norm Mack, the city is not currently set up to handle the work of maintaining the highways and asked the City of Estevan council at the latest meeting to study the possibility of buying a snow plow truck equipped with a sand spreader, similar to what the department of highways uses. That could also be used for roads located on the city's perimeters.

At the meeting, the council agreed to pay the contract to the Ministry of Highways for the first year, but requested more discussions to potentially secure more capital funding before agreeing to any contracts past that.

Mack says that although the footprint of the change may not look large, it will take extra man hours and resources to complete all services, from snow removal to pavement maintenance.

The city also plans to have a discussion with the RM of Estevan as to how they will coordinate efforts in regards to snow clearing along the Bienfait Grid.