Construction of a new water treatment plant and expanded reservoir in Rosthern is expected to begin later this year, according to Rosthern Mayor Dennis Helmuth.

The new infrastructure will replace the current aging facility and position the community for future growth.

“We’re excited about the fresh water infrastructure replacement project proceeding this year,” said Helmuth. “We know we need increased water treatment capacity. Most importantly, we need increased reservoir capacity; that’s a top priority.”

Helmuth said the current water treatment plant was built in the late 1950s or early 1960s; and while it’s still functioning well, it’s getting more challenging to find replacement parts to keep it humming.

“Our trusty little water treatment plant has served us well for decades,” said Helmuth. “But, it’s ‘best-before-date’ is rapidly bearing down on us, and we need to invest in more updated technology.”

Rosthern Mayor Dennis Helmuth

While the project will be expensive, Helmuth said the town is committed to moving ahead incrementally in stages beginning this year. He said while he’s hopeful that some infrastructure grant funding may be forthcoming from the provincial and federal governments to offset the total cost, the town can’t bank on its applications being approved.

“As a town we need to push ahead with this project,” he said. “There will definitely be some borrowing required; it’s just a question of how much we will need to borrow. If we get some involvement from senior levels of government, that will help a lot.”

One factor that will keep overall costs down is the location of the new water treatment facility. It’s slated to be built on a parcel of land directly north of the existing water treatment plant on 4th Avenue North.

“That will make the transition from the old plant to the new one much more cost-effective,” said Helmuth. “The engineers love that.”


He noted the upgrades done last year to the community’s hockey arena, with the help of federal and provincial infrastructure funding, vastly improved the efficiency of the building and the ice plant. Those investments are now paying off in the form of increased bookings for ice time and an extended season.

“We ran spring hockey for the first time last year,” said Helmuth. “The rink staff were able to keep the plant running pretty much till the end of May, so it was pretty successful and was well-received by user groups. My understanding is that bookings are strong going into the second year of spring hockey.”

Helmuth said the planned upgrades to the Rosthern Regional Park golf clubhouse are also welcome.


Last year the provincial government committed $250,000 toward the planning process for the new Sask Valley Hospital, a regional facility that will replace the existing Rosthern Hospital. Helmuth said that planning process is well underway, but noted it could take up to three years to complete.

“It’s a very extensive process,” he said. “It will be a few years before construction begins; but we’re guardedly optimistic at this point. We’ve had numerous conversations with the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), and we’re continuing to monitor the planning process.”

In the meantime, he added, Rosthern and other communities in the Twin Rivers Region continue to put money toward the hospital project, both through municipal tax levies and fundraising events. The municipalities are responsible for 20 per cent of the capital cost.

“The Sask Valley Hospital Foundation is made up of very committed volunteers from throughout the Twin Rivers Region,” said Helmuth. “We’re also working to expand the area from which we draw in donors.”

The Town of Rosthern has already set aside land for the new hospital, and final servicing will be done once the Ministry of Health and SHA approve the final plans.


Helmuth said Rosthern Town Council is actively exploring options with private developers to increase the amount and scope of housing available in the community.

“We’re looking to increase options across the spectrum,” said Helmuth. “The reality is there is very little in the way of rental housing in town; there’s a huge need for that. We need more affordable rental units, starter homes, and retirement residences. The town does have land available, and we’re talking to developers who are interested in doing those types of developments.

“But, it is a challenge. Every community in Saskatchewan has a similar challenge.”


The growth of the business corridor at the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 312 is positive in many ways, but it has also raised concerns about safety, said Helmuth.

“The new Tim Hortons restaurant opening is imminent,” he said. “That will draw even more people into town, which is good; but at the same time the volume of traffic and the usage patterns going through that intersection are daunting, especially during long weekends in the summer.”

Helmuth said the lower speed limit implemented last year at the intersection has helped improve safety, but the town is continuing to hold regular conversations with the Ministry of Highways on further improvements.

He noted the Rosthern RCMP will be relocating and building a new detachment building on the north service road in Rosthern adjacent to Highway 11 near the intersection. The new location will improve access by police to the highway.