There are some big projects and decisions on the horizon for the Town of Morris in 2019, says Mayor Scott Crick.
"There's lots of very, very interesting and positive activities happening in our community," Crick said.
Discussions regarding renovations to the local clinic have been floating around for a number of years, he said, but there has been minimal movement with the project. The Town is looking to foot the entire bill, but is concerned a newly refurbished clinic will give the provincial government an opportunity to shut down the hospital.
"We have been attempting to get an answer from the provincial government that if we are expected to make this large investment in the health facility, and go into debt for our citizens, how will this affect the future lifespan of the hospital, and/or do we run into any issues if the Province makes a decision about the lifespan of the hospital, and it affects access to a clinic which would be carrying a fairly substantial amount of debt," he said.
Updating the clinic brings hope doctor retention within the community will improve. Although the official cost has not been determined, the project is set to go to tender in 2019.
The Town of Morris is also hoping to hear from the provincial government about flood-proofing Highway 75.
"I think for Morris to be a viable and economically vibrant community we just need to remove the specter or the impression people may have when the Red River gets high we shut down," Crick said.
Reaching out for government support to flood-proof Highway 75, or add an alternative route, will continue to be on Council's radar, despite a lack of government backing, according to Crick.
"The challenge with this is that, again, we've attempted to approach the Province about this particular subject ... It's not that we're not receiving an answer we like or not from the government, we're receiving no answer at all from the Province," Crick said.
With these projects in mind, Crick noted economic development will continue to be a priority for Council moving into 2019, which includes the installation of fiber optics and Internet access - a venture expected to be in flight by November 2019.