The Rural Municipality of Wallace has agreed to transfer another half-section of land to the City of Yorkton.
The 320-acres is directly north of land previously annexed by the city on the northeast corner of the city, and is owned by a private developer who made the request for the land to be transferred from the RM, explained RM Reeve Garry Liebrecht at a press conference at City Hall Thursday. He said the developer met with the RM Council and asked if the RM would agree to a transfer.
“We told him right away there’d be no problem,” he said, adding “we have a good relationship with the City.”
Liebrecht said there needs to be cooperation with the City because it is where RM residents do their business.
“It’s our city,” he said.
Liebrecht said the RM recognizes the city’s need to grow and so will be working on a plan to prevent acreage developments on the city’s east side so that land will be available to facilitate growth long term.
Yorkton Mayor James Wilson said the request from the developer, who will look to create mainly residential on the land, “is a reflection of what’s happening regionally,” in terms of growth.
Wilson said the process to make the transfer went smoothly.
“As municipalities we need to work together … The past three years we’ve always had a great working relationship with the RM of Wallace,” he said, adding by coming to an agreement in direct discussions the two municipalities saved taxpayers additional costs associated with taking the matter to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB) as was the case with a recent annexation from the RM of Orkney.
When asked if the City had determined its costs with the SMB process with Orkney, Wilson said the final figures have not yet been calculated.
In terms of the half-section annexation mutually agreed too, the City will pay the RM of Wallace 12-times the assessment of the currently agricultural land, the same as mandated in the SMB decision with the RM of Orkney. The total cost is approximately $31,000, said Wilson.
While the two municipalities and the landowner have all agreed to the transfer, by provincial regulation the move must still be advertised to allow the public an opportunity to voice objections. That process will close Nov. 9, said Wilson, who added they do not expect opposition.