Corman Park council seeks input on gravel night-haul plan

Landowners in the area are being asked for feedback about a proposal to haul gravel at night from a site northwest of Warman

If the weather cooperates, the Warman and Martensville overpasses could be completed in late 2018, about a year earlier than originally planned.
The general design-build contractor, Kiewit Construction, has accelerated the schedule of construction over the past year.
But in order to get the work done, there could be some short-term pain for area residents. Elected representatives are looking for feedback from landowners on just how much, if any, short-term pain is acceptable. Continue reading “Corman Park council seeks input on gravel night-haul plan”

Corman Park takes first step in legal action against Saskatoon

Corman Park Reeve Judy Harwood addresses the special meeting of Corman Park council on Monday, November 30
Corman Park Reeve Judy Harwood addresses the special meeting of Corman Park council on Monday, November 30

The Rural Municipality of Corman Park may pursue legal action against the City of Saskatoon over a land deal that could cost the RM hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Corman Park council unanimously voted at a special council meeting on Monday, November 30 to direct its legal counsel “to obtain a legal opinion regarding the potential” for the RM to “take legal action against the City of Saskatoon related to the purchase of lands by the City within the RM.” The motion specified the legal land description of the property, which is located north of Saskatoon adjacent to the East Cory Industrial Park and alongside Highway 12.
Corman Park Reeve Judy Harwood told the meeting that since 1956, when the first district planning commission was established, Saskatoon and its surrounding rural municipalities have worked together on land use planning. In recent years, regional planning has expanded to encompass other municipalities including Warman, Martensville and Osler.
“This partnership is all about cooperation and trust,” said Harwood.
She said Corman Park understands that in order for urban municipalities to grow, they need to take land from Corman Park. But, she added, the RM also needs to grow and develop its residential, commercial and industrial base in order to pay for necessary infrastructure and services.
“We do not want to impede potential growth,” said Harwood. “But we want to ensure growth benefits all the partners. Why can’t regional development be a win-win situation?”
She said Saskatoon has exhibited a “sense of entitlement” by treating Corman Park as its land bank for future growth. She said this is unfair, because it pits private developers in Corman Park against the city’s Land Bank development agency. The 155-acre parcel of unserviced land, which is in Corman Park’s future growth plan, was purchased by Saskatoon for $4.2 million last August without informing Corman Park administration and council.
Saskatoon has indicated it will not be developing the land anytime soon. This means the RM will not be receiving any tax revenue from the property.
Harwood said the purchase was unnecessary because the city had recently annexed 800 acres in the same general vicinity. She also pointed out the city’s land bank mandate is to develop serviced land for residential, commercial and industrial purposes within the city’s boundaries.
Division 6 Councilor Bas Froese-Kooijenga said the lack of transparency on the land purchase shows a lack of good judgment on the part of elected officials in Saskatoon. He said the regional partnership should be based on cooperation, trust and equality. This move, he said, has destroyed a lot of the trust.
“It’s not cool for them to come into our house and pee on our rug,” said Froese-Kooijenga. “I hope that we can get this regional plan back on track.”
Division 1 councilor John Germs said while he is “hesitant” about spending taxpayers’ dollars on legal action, he believes it’s a necessary move. Noting that while he was a member of the P4G committee, he felt the City of Saskatoon appeared to have a major influence in the committee’s direction and decisions.
“I got off that P4G committee because I didn’t like the way things were going,” said Germs, noting the city appeared to have a virtual veto over development in the RM.
“I’m really frustrated,” said Germs. “This whole P4G process; I see that as a bigger land bank for the urbans to grow. There are tensions there.”
The motion to pursue possible legal action was put forward by Corman Park Division 3 councilor David Fox, who noted the action by the city “flies in the face of regional cooperation, and unfortunately, I think this will create a chill in the relationship between Corman Park and the city for some time moving forward.”
Fox said he believes it is important to investigate a change in provincial legislation “to prevent this kind of predatory action by the city from happening again.”