Wawota commits $189,250 to airport expansion

Total now over $3 million from municipalities—$3,087,880

January 29, 2024, 7:40 am
Kevin Weedmark


The town of Wawota has committed an additional $189,250 to the Moosomin Airport Expansion Project. The town had earlier contributed $5,000 to the project, and after municipalities were approached in 2023 to increase their funding to help complete the project, Wawota agreed provide the additional funding.

The commitment from Wawota brings the total committed by municipal governments to the airport project to $3,087,880.

There has been a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort to expand the airport with a new 5,000-foot runway to accommodate the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance, as well as commercial interests.

The new runway will be the third longest in the province, after Saskatoon and Regina.

So far, $6,456,111.57 has been spent on the project, but the total cost including paving, lights, and navigation will be $10,589,058.64.
Nutrien and the provincial government have each contributed about 25 per cent of the total cost.

Municipalities have been asked to contribute a $350 per capita commitment.
Most municipalities have met the $350 per capita requested, and most of the municipal portion of the funding is in place, and Wawota is the latest council to come through with a commitment. The town will provide $37,850 a year for the next five years, for a total of $189,250 to meet their per-capita commitment. Mayor Kevin Kay says he believes it’s important for the town to show its commitment.

“We pledged our support, and that’s a huge commitment for us,” he said. “We recognize the commitment we’re locking the town into for quite some time, but we understand the significance of the airport expansion for health care in the region, we had Dr. Roets explain the changes in the Saskatchewan Health Authority, where they’re consolidating stroke and heart attack treatment in Saskatoon, so it’s critical we get to Saskatoon as quickly as possible and fixed wing aircraft is by far the quickest way to do it, so we see the need for the airport. And seeing the partners who are part of it, we’re ready to jump in, because it benefits the whole area.

“We want a seat at the table, and if we want a seat at the table, then we’ve got to pony up. There was very little discussion about it, our council is very much in favor of it. We had the full presentation by the committee, and our council was well represented at that meeting, so we had a lot of our questions answered.

“Seeing what the other municipalities are doing, and how they’ve jumped on board, we want to do our part as well.

“We’ve been very supportive and we are looking forward to doing what we can to make sure that project is completed on time and maintained.”
“It makes a big difference,” said RM of Moosomin administrator Kendra Lawrence. “It’s good to see communities coming on board and paying their share.

“We have a couple of municipalities that we’re waiting on, but they were going to look at it when they do their budgeting so we should know this spring.

“For the town of Wawota, this is like what the town of Moosomin did, in giving us almost $1 million. That’s a lot of money for Wawota, and it’s really appreciated.”

The base of the runway has been completed, and Lawrence said the plan at this point is to try to get the funds in place to tender the pavement.
“The goal would be to try to tender the pavement by March. That would be our hope.”

The municipal commitments add up to 25 per cent of the total cost of the expansion, the provincial government is paying 25 per cent, corporate donations cover 25 per cent and private donations, the last piece of the puzzle, will cover 25 per cent of the cost.