City of Swift Current officials are clarifying a series of misconceptions regarding their application to annex certain land in the RM of Swift Current.
The city is arguing that the RM is taking a calculated move to limit the future growth of Swift Current, and they have exaggerated the costs the city would incur should the annexation be approved.
"It is important for the City of Swift Current taxpayers to be knowledgeable with respect to the costs that will eventually occur should the annexation be approved," a press release from the city states. "The amounts the RM Council and Administrator have cited are unreliable and make little sense. The costs the taxpayers of the City of Swift Current could reasonably expect to be accountable for, should the proposed annexation take place, could range from five to 10 times the current tax levy."
The city is also upset there is not a formal process for the two sides to work together on development issues.
"With the RM of Swift Current unilaterally dissolved the two kilometer District Planning Area around the City, the City of Swift Current now has no involvement with any developments, subdivisions and plans that are located immediately adjacent to the City boundary. With this calculated move, the RM of Swift Current is clearly willin to approve developments adjacent to the City, thereby limiting the future growth of the City and area. The RM of Swift Current has demonstrated its reluctance to work with the City of Swift Current to plan for future developments."
"Just as the cities of Weyburn and Yorkton are going through the same process for the exact same reasons....to provide an orderly and efficient growth plan for their respective cities, the City of Swift Current Council and Administration want to ensure a prosperous and growing community well into the future. And this can only occur through having the ability to plan, provide infrastructure and proper zoning in the areas as identified by the professional plan that has been developed."
"The city has been willing to negotiate fair compensation with the RM of Swift Current, however, to date, the RM of Swift Current has not responded to the City's offers."
Last year the City made an application to annex certain RM lands as recommended by Crosby Hanna and Associated, a plan which would allow the City to accommodate efficient growth over the coming decades. The RM initiated an application to the Provincial Municipal Board challening the jurisdiction of the Board to deal with the annexation. This challenge was based on a conflict between the lands listed in the annexation resolution and the published map that was printed in the newspaper.
The Provincial Municipal Board ruled they did not have jurisdiction to rule on the annexation as the published map did not identify all properties in the application. All affected property owners did receive a letter indicating their properties were in the proposed annexation area.
"All other actions taken to date were in full compliance with the Cities Act and the regulations the province has in place when dealing with annexation applications. In its ruling, the Municipal Board specifically indicated that "this refusal makes no ruling on the annexation proposal itself.""