Friday, 11 January 2013 15:26

Ongoing interest in Swift Current industrial property

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Swift Current councillors received positive news at their first council meeting for 2013 about the continuing interest shown by developers in City industrial property.

Director of Business Development Marty Salberg submitted two requests to purchase property in Munro Industrial Park at the regular council meeting on Jan. 7. Councillors approved the purchase agreements unanimously.
“It's a good way to start 2013, having a couple of investor lot sales,” Salberg said after the meeting. “I think the feeling around Swift Current and the region is really one of confidence and confidence enough to take on some risk in terms of buying some property and eventually building buildings to house businesses.”
A lot of about 1.8 acres was sold to Pumpjack Equipment Services Ltd., a local business that services the energy sector in southwest Saskatchewan. The company's intention is to construct a 7,500 square foot building on the lot, with construction scheduled this spring.
Another 1.8 acre lot was sold to WB Farms Ltd. This business plans to construct a building for leasing. At an asking price of $80,000 per acre, the purchase price of each of these lots was $144.000.
According to Salberg the purchase agreements for these industrial lots do not include any clause to require that development of the properties should take place within a specified time period.
“Sometimes a business needs to buy a piece of property and it takes a while for some businesses to plan their entire timeline and their construction plans,” he explained. “Therefore we try to give them the time they need.”
In recent months the City sold about 12 acres of land in Munro Industrial Park and about 20 acres are left. This would be about six or seven parcels that range from 1.6 to 4.5 acres.
“If you look at historical trends that should be sufficient for this year,” he said. “We have about three full acre parcels and three or four 1.5 to two acre parcels. The larger parcels can be subdivided if need be to accommodate smaller development but it does show that we need to ensure that we do prudent planning for the next phase of our industrial park.”
The engineering and planning department is already working on plans for the development of the next industrial park, which will be located just south of Munro Industrial Park. The City owns a quarter section of land there, which is still unserviced but earmarked for future industrial use.
“We just had to make sure that we're planning in a timely fashion so that as businesses continue to look at that area we have land and the infrastructure in the land to accommodate those businesses,” he said.
In the meantime the price of available lots in Munro Industrial Park increased on Jan. 1 to $90,000 per acre, which Salberg felt is still reasonable compared to elsewhere in the province. He anticipated another increase towards the end of this year or in early 2014 while lot prices in the next industrial park will also be higher.
“Until you get the services and know how much money you have invested on a per acre basis, you can't predict what the acreage selling price would be,” he said. “But we have to ensure that we cover the costs both for the property and all the infrastructure that's put into it and a small margin of profit.”
Water treatment plant chemicals
Councillors approved the tenders for the supply and delivery of chemicals to the City's upgraded water treatment plant. The list includes two chemicals that have not been used previously.
An estimated 160 ton of caustic soda and 110 ton of sulphuric acid will be used in the upgraded plant. It is anticipated that the new chemicals should reduce the use of liquid aluminium.
According to Director of Engineer Mac Forster the cost of chemicals represent about 40 to 45 per cent of the facility's operating cost.
“It's a big part of the expenses that we incur out there,” he noted. “These go to tender every year to get the best possible price we can.”
In 2012 the City spent $455,290 on chemicals. Forster is satisfied with the operation of the upgraded water treatment facility.
“The system is working very well,” he said. “Water quality is very good compared to the past.”
In addition to the use of new chemicals, the upgraded facility includes an ultraviolet water disinfection system. This will result in some reduced use of chlorine during the water treatment process.
“Chlorine is still required and post chlorination is still required as well,” Forster said. “But it's another form of disinfection that allows us to reduce the amount of chlorine introduced in the water that helps to improve the quality of water.”

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