Rhino's Ramblings: When it Rains It Pours


Robert Thomas

This past couple of weeks we finally saw some much needed precipitation, as a major rainfall arrived in the nick of time. Well, unless you live in the areas of the city which got hail or in Assiniboia.

But on another street, where anything that can go wrong will go wrong, the Curse of High Street struck again, causing further delays.

This time there are strong indications that the contractor may have missed replacing one sewer line service connection. Additionally, at least one building's owner decided that while the street was dug up, they should change the existing line.

In total, there are, reportedly,  up to seven businesses which need their sewer line service connections changed, either because they were missed or because the property owner decided while the road was dug up to change out the existing lines.

It has to be a frustrating situation, as at least one business owner set up a construction cam on his Facebook and gave commentary into what was happening with the construction. Some of it is satire, some is just blowing off steam and some is perhaps making the best of the bad situation. It actually was entertaining stuff, in a macabre sort of way, but most importantly it let people know that despite construction shops are alive and still in business.

The proverbial "making lemonade when life delivers you a semi load of lemons."

Other businesses tell me that had they known how long the construction was going to take, they would have either moved or closed down during construction.

One business owner even posted a sign on his business door stating they were closed on Saturdays, until the construction was completed...or Christmas...whichever one came first. Another sign of frustrations boiling over.

It might sound easy to move a business; there are plenty of fancy new and vacant store fronts to take advantage of. But moving a business is not cheap.  You need to have all of your stationery changed plus let your clientele know of the move. Hoping they will follow.

Further on the west side of 5th Ave NW of High Street a natural gas line was ruptured during excavation, shutting down a portion of High Street until it was repaired. What caused it, I'm hearing, is a bad locate. Which, if true, means more delays, as they carefully re-locate underground utilities so it doesn't happen again.


But despite all of the negativity when it comes to High Street there are still lots of positives down there.

The first one being that the 200 block is, for all intents and purposes, open, and if you want to drive down High Street to access the Legion, Anavets, H&R Block or Kathy's Custom Stitchery, you need not worry about damaging your car to do so.

There even seems to be a new dog and cat store open there for those of you who want to check them out.

The other positive in this is that the City is delivering regular updates to the business owners and they are no longer using an everyday city worker to deliver the updates but Communications Manager Craig Hemingway himself is doing it personally.

For the business owners, this is good for two reasons, it shows them the City is taking this very seriously plus, here is a little tip, Mr Hemingway works directly under City Manager Jim Puffalt and from him, directly to the mayor.

As a business owner, if you want to make sure your concerns go directly to the top when the Communication's Manager stops in tell him your concerns, questions and suggestions.

And no, as one business owner suggested to me, I doubt if it's the City making sure they have an idea what I'm up to. If it is then what's needed is a couple of more letters after their names PP to go along with their degrees and designations - Pretty Paranoid.

But here is a tip for the powers to be at City Hall: listen to the suggestions of the business owners, they are very bright people and know their clientele and High Street better than you likely ever will.

The most positive thing I saw this week were suggestions from business owners about what the City can do to redirect traffic back down High Street once the construction is completed.

I think one more title which needs to be attached to High Street other than that shameful CAA title is - Most Optimistic Street in Saskatchewan.

Despite what's happened, a ray of sunshine after a long deluge.

moose jaw