The biggest highlight of 2022 for the new Reeve for the RM of Stuartburn is first off, the October municipal elections.
Michelle Gawronsky says, “given that honor was a huge highlight for my life. After that, I'm glad that the folks of Stuartburn are able to celebrate events live again. We had the best Canada Day celebrations in Vita and to be able to see people, actually coming into town and enjoying and watching our community come back to life has just been huge for us.”
Another accomplishment for the RM was the completion of the Prawda Bridge over the Rat River. “We’ve expanded the walkway as well as the children's play structure”
When it comes to growth in the RM, Gawronsky says, they recently welcomed a large potato farmer into the community. “He set up shop out in the Arbakka area (south of Vita) and we are very happy to have him with us. Requests for building permits were on the rise and we have a dozen or so that are new builds. So, we know that the community is definitely growing.”
Reeve Gawronsky speaks to the weather-related challenges of the past year and says, “Water continues to be a challenge and it's a growing challenge as we know farmers have had a tough year this year and we all know that when a farmer has tough times, we all have tough times. Our businesses, municipality, our governments and that's why we need to be supporting our farmers always and doing the best that we can for them. So, those are the biggest two real challenges for our community.”
She says their residents continue to do the best they can, with the extended fall weather helping the farmers. “Most were able to get all their crops off. You know, a farmer is a farmer and they go out and they just do what they need to do. Hats off to them, because I don't know if I would have had the oomph to do everything that they do and yet they just keep plugging away, one day at a time, one step at a time, one field at a time. I’ve got the utmost respect for farmers.”
As to the provincial government's promise of starting work on the upgrade to the PR201 through the RM of Stuartburn, Gawronski says, it has not been started yet, “but we are going to hold the government to it.”
When asked what word she would use to describe 2022, Gawronski said, "Optimism."
"And that's kind of what I see when I'm out and about. I'm talking to folks in the community, I see a renewed energy. I see an optimism in their eyes and I hear it in their voice and the community is actually coming up with some wonderful ideas, you know. The arena is up again and they are starting to welcome children back. I've been watching the kids from the school going up and down in front of my house as they're going to the curling rink. I know that use of the hall is starting to grow. Our fire department is building. Our stores are anticipating that they are going to actually be able to add on and to build and to welcome more folks in."
She continues, "I talked to the Amish in the community and they definitely see this as an opportunistic community, and I just see us growing. I see us building and I can just feel it. So, a single word would be "challenges" but followed very very closely by "optimism".