Nipawin heliport has SHA approval, next is cost re-estimates
March 21, 2022 By Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal
While the Saskatchewan Health Authority has given final approval on a heliport build in Nipawin, Rennie Harper, Nipawin’s mayor, said that they’ll still need a cost re-estimate before fundraising can be underway.
The effort is being undertaken by the Twin Lakes District Planning Commission, which includes the Town of Nipawin, R.M. of Nipawin, R.M. of Moose Range, R.M. of Torch River, Village of Codette, Village of White Fox, Town of Choiceland, Town of Carrot River and the Village of Tobin Lake.
Harper said that the commission has reached out to a third party to see if they’d be interested in leading the fundraising team, but since it’s been almost four years since the original cost estimate in waiting for SHA approval, they’ll need a new evaluation first.
Original estimates set the project at $560,000.
“I feel really good for where things are at, we finally got the approval, the documents are signed which means we could go ahead with arranging the fundraising,” Harper said.
“We kind of need to have all our front ducks in a row, and that’s what we’re doing right now. So likely we’ll know a little bit more before the end of April.”
Since 2018, the commission has been working towards approval to build the heliport, which will connect Nipawin with hospitals in Melfort, Prince Albert, Kelvington and Saskatoon via a growing helipad network.
Previously, STARS landed on the grass field beside the hospital, before Transport Canada required them to cease the field landings due to safety issues.
Since then, STARS have been using Nipawin’s airport, which has about a 15 minute driving time with the hospital.
“I’m excited to see how people will react and I’m hoping people will contribute across the area because it’s going to be a vitally important piece of equipment in our health system in the Nipawin area.”