Wawken commits $184,900 to airport expansion

Total now nearing $3.3 million from municipalities—$3,272,780

February 12, 2024, 8:13 am
Kevin Weedmark


The RM of Wawken has committed an additional $184,900 to the Moosomin Airport Expansion Project. The RM had earlier contributed $30,000 to the project, and after municipalities were approached in 2023 to increase their funding to help complete the project, the RM of Wawken agreed to provide the additional funding.

The commitment from Wawken brings the total committed by municipal governments to the airport project to $3,272,780.

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 the RM of Wawken is the latest council to come through with a commitment. The RM’s additional commitment of $189,250 will bring the RM up to the $350 per capita requested from local municipalities.

RM of Moosomin Reeve Kendra Larence said she is happy to see the municipal commitments still coming in. She says she’s optimistic most of the remaining work can be completed this year.

“If we can go ahead with our paving in 2024—and I’m very positive that we’ll be able to do the electrical at the same time—it would be done and installed before the end of the construction season of 2024.”

RM of Wawken Reeve Darrell Petterson said he believes the airport expansion project is important for the whole region.

“I feel, as does the RM here, that this is very important to us out here in our area, now that we actually have doctors from Moosomin in Wawota. We’re ecstatic about that in Wawota. Having them here really helps our community, and having them here just shows us more that we want to see this go ahead for our community here, and for the whole area that will benefit from it.

“We had a meeting where they explained how important it is,” he said. “The RM of Moosomin was there, and Dr. Van and Jeff St. Onge. We met in Wawota, in the Legion club rooms, and they showed us what they were looking for, some more input and more help financially.

“I think it’s very important that we do our part for our ratepayers.”
He said he believes the improved access to Saskatchewan Air Ambulance for southeast Saskatchewan is the most important aspect of the airport expansion.
“The important part for us would be that we could fly people out, the stroke victims and children and people that need to go a little farther than they can go with STARS. We feel that’s pretty important. It could be important for maybe some of our own family members or somebody in our area here.”
He said the fact that Moosomin doctors are serving people in the Wawota area, and people from Wawota are going to Moosomin for medical services underlines the importance of the service for the whole region.

“We’re really happy that the doctors from Moosomin are coming to town here and that has really helped a lot of people,” he said. “I think people here feel a little better for us putting money into something like this when we have doctors coming to town from Moosomin, we’re seeing them here once a week now and they’re full. They’ve got lots of people going to them here, and I don’t think people are going to question us much for going ahead and putting money into this because with the Air Ambulance people will be going on from Moosomin to Saskatoon or wherever.”

He said the Moosomin doctors serving Wawota is having a big impact.
“I think it’s huge,” he said. “I’m the reeve so I’m over the top that they’re back here. We have a lot of people going to Moosomin anyway, and I think we had to put a bit of money in, and both Walpole and Wawota as well, to get it to where the doctors like to see it and we got it there.

“I asked Dr. Van how it is. He says it’s good, it’s really good. And that’s where I think it goes hand in hand with the airport being it’s another tool that they can use to get people out quicker if they need to go somewhere else, and that’s a very good thing.”