Friday, 30 November 2012 08:49

Municipal Boundary Committee considers City of Swift Current annexation application during hearing Thursday night

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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The members of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board's Municipal Boundary Committee at the public hearing in Swift Current on Nov. 29. From left to right, Doug Steele, Dianne Ford, Gordon Hubbard, David Wilkin and Roland Zimmer. The members of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board's Municipal Boundary Committee at the public hearing in Swift Current on Nov. 29. From left to right, Doug Steele, Dianne Ford, Gordon Hubbard, David Wilkin and Roland Zimmer. Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post

The Municipal Boundary Committee of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board will rule not later than Feb. 4, 2013 on the City of Swift Current's application for an alteration of boundaries to incorporate the commercial land on the city's western boundary, which is currently located within the R.M. of Swift Current #137.

 This follows the public hearing that was held by the Municipal Boundary Committee at the Day's Inn in Swift Current on Nov. 29. Both parties as well as members of the public made submissions to the Boundary Committee during the almost three hour long proceedings.

Committee Chair Gordon Hubbard determined that the issue of compensation to the R.M. of Swift Current was the sole matter before the Boundary Committee.

The R.M. of Swift Current's legal counsel Fred Zinkhan challenged the Committee's position. He argued the boundary alteration was the prime issue and that compensation was a secondary issue.

But Hubbard determined that the hearing should continue and that the Boundary Committee will reserve its decision on the jurisdictional issues raised by the R.M. of Swift Current in its ruling.

The City's legal counsel Murray Walter asked that the Committee should consider a compensation of between 12 and 15 times commercial taxes, but preferably less than 15 times.

We've seen a very marked increase in the tax rate on the subject property over three years,” he said.

He indicated that at an offer of 15 times the current commercial taxes, the total compensation amount would be close to $3.2 million. He also indicated that the City felt it would be reasonable to make this payment over a number of years.

Zinkhan argued during his submission that the R.M. should be compensated for lost tax revenue, the cost of the infrastructure in this commercial area and the ongoing cost of maintaining roads in the R.M. that services this commercial area. The R.M. also wants the compensation payment to be made as soon as possible, as it will amount to a discount to the City if the payment is done over a number of years due to inflation.

The R.M. asked for compensation of between 22-and-a-half and 27 times the current commercial taxes, which will be $6.4 million in the case of a 27 times compensation.

The infrastructure loss compensation referred to amounts to $3.2 million while the R.M. wants tax revenue sharing on the taxes paid by the Richardson Pioneer terminal with 75 per cent of that income going towards the R.M.

In addition the R.M. asked for compensation for the expenses it had to incur to deal with the annexation application, especially as this is the third time that the Municipal Boundary Committee is considering an application from the City for annexation.

This is a flawed application for many reasons,” Zinkhan said during his concluding remarks.

 

Read 4406 times Last modified on Friday, 30 November 2012 13:56

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