With 2021 nearly behind us, mayor Irvine Ferris says he believes that Portage is doing as good, if not better, than most communities.
He says, as he looks back, two themes really jumped out at him; managing everything throughout a pandemic, as well as all the infrastructure investments that have been done over the year. He mentions there’s a lot more to come, but those are still in the planning stages.
He says one of the largest infrastructure tasks was the roundabouts on Crescent Road and the island.
“That project was funded entirely from the federal gas tax and, over the last two years, the federal government doubled that to cities and municipalities,” notes Ferris. “So, our council felt very strongly to take advantage of it.”
He adds they’ve also started work on sewer and water renewals, as well as downtown sidewalk replacements and even the completion of the McCain water feature in the north end. He says the work done will also save us money in the long term, as the infrastructure will hopefully cause a lack of problems in the future.
Ferris adds he’s proud of Portagers for stepping up and doing what they could despite the year we’ve had.
“We've had a very challenging year and we know going into the new year that we've got some big challenges ahead of us,” explains Ferris. “We've done a tremendous job over the last two years managing through this. I think the vast majority of our citizens and businesses have tried to do their best.”
Ferris would like to wish everyone in Portage la Prairie a safe Christmas and a happy new year.