Martensville endorses P4G draft regional plan

The City of Martensville has officially endorsed in principle the draft Partnership for Growth (P4G) regional plan.
Martensville city council adopted a resolution to that effect at its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 5.
Martensville is one of five municipalities within the P4G partnership. The others are Warman, Osler, Corman Park and Saskatoon. Similar motions of endorsement of the P4G plan are expected to come before these councils in the coming weeks.
“It’s been a long process,” said Martensville Mayor Kent Muench in an interview following the council vote. “There have been a number of open houses, people have seen the land use map and the regional plan, and there’s been a lot of discussion on this.
“It’s never an easy thing to have five diverse municipalities all working together to achieve mutually-beneficial goals, and I think we’ve achieved something very substantial here.”
Muench said the regional planning structure provides long-term guidelines for municipalities, landowners and developers as the region north of Saskatoon prepares for a population of between 700,000 and 1 million in the coming decades.
“The communities are agreeing to work out their differences in a way that takes long-term goals into account,” he said. “The objective is to avoid planning mistakes, like we’ve seen in the past. We’re trying to plan for the future so there is some certainty.”
Muench noted the long-range growth plan for the city of Martensville is one component of the overall P4G regional plan.
“We’re able to proceed with our long-term planning, and so are other municipalities,” said Muench. “It’s better in general for delivery of services and cost-savings for infrastructure. It makes sense to share resources and work together where we can.”
The P4G regional plan includes a draft land use map, a regional servicing strategy and regional governance and implementation strategy.
The P4G Regional Oversight Committee endorsed the P4G plan in principle in May, 2017. A public meeting was held in Martensville in June, 2017 at which all five municipal councils attended.
Once the five municipal councils endorse the P4G plan in principle, the plan will then be reviewed by the municipalities’ legal counsels before the wording is finalized.
A special joint all-councils meeting will take place in 2018 to vote on accepting the final P4G plan.
Martensville City Council voted at its September 5 meeting to raise its municipal debt limit from $40 million to $70 million.
The request will now go to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board for approval.
The increase is needed to cover upcoming infrastructure and recreation projects in the city, according to Martensville Mayor Kent Muench.
“We have a number of things coming up, and we just want to make sure we have the financial resources available if they are needed,” said Muench. “We will have development happening west of the highway, we are looking at major infrastructure improvements, and new neighbourhoods developing in our eastern area. It’s not like we’re going to be borrowing all that right away. It’s just aimed at giving us enough room in the future to handle the growth.
“It’s really just part of the budgeting process.”