Future development possible

The land purchase agreement will allow the City of Swift Current to complete the development of lots on the north side of Ridgeview Street in the Saskatchewan Valley subdivision.

A $2.7 million deal between the City of Swift Current and a landowner will provide room for future growth on the northeast side of the community.

Council members approved the land purchase agreement of approximately 158.77 acres during a regular council meeting, Oct. 4.

The City will pay $1 million on the closing date of the agreement and the remaining $1.7 million will be paid on or before Sept. 30, 2022.

Chief Administrative Officer Tim Marcus told the meeting the City has been interested for some time in purchasing the land to the north of the Saskatchewan Valley subdivision.

“About 10 years ago, discussions commenced to acquire the needed 15 acres to complete the Sask. Valley development,” he said. “For various reasons, these discussions were never completed and until this past year negotiations were at a standstill.”

The Saskatchewan Valley subdivision has been developed on a quarter section of land behind the Cypress Regional Hospital. This deal will make it possible for the City to use 15 acres of the newly purchased land to complete the development of lots on the north side of Ridgeview Street in the subdivision and to have land available for future growth needs.

“The land purchase of 158.77 acres to the north of the existing Sask. Valley development is strategic for the future of Swift Current, as it would be the next logical area for the City to develop as it expands,” he said.

He noted the City is able to do this land purchase with funds that are already available and it will have no impact on the City’s current debt.

“The City has funds available in its land development account,” he said. “Therefore, no new debt is needed for this purchase.”

Another benefit of this land purchase will be the future realignment of Waker Road on the eastern side of the existing subdivision to divert traffic to Saskatchewan Drive. It will then not be necessary to use another street, Adams Street, as a connector road.

City General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations Mitch Minken indicated the lots on the north side of Ridgeview Street in the Saskatchewan Valley subdivision will not be immediately ready for sale due to this land purchase.

“The required 15 acres is for some drainage improvements that need to be done prior to putting those lots up for sale,” he explained. “So it would be the time to get those drainage improvements done. That would likely be into the spring of 2022.”

The purchase agreement includes a clause that allows the seller of the land to continue to live in a residence located on the property. He will not be required to pay any rent. He will be responsible for the utilities and his own water supply to the residence. He must maintain the access road to the residence and he will also be responsible for all upkeep and repair costs associated with the residence.

Marcus said this residence and outbuildings are located on the northeast corner of the land purchased by the City, and it will therefore not hinder the start of any future development.

“The bottom half is bare land and available for development before you would get to residence on the northeast,” he explained.

The $1 million payment in this land purchase agreement is based on the value of the buildings on the property.

“That's the agreed to value from the vendor and we are OK with that,” he said. “There's I think four buildings in total on the property.”

The remaining $1.7 million payment is based on the value of the land, which has been determined through an appraisal.

“The land that the City is acquiring is based on a fair market appraisal that was conducted and has been the basis of negotiations,” Marcus said. “After allocating some of the proceeds for the buildings on the property, the City is acquiring un-serviced bare land adjacent to its serviced land at a value of $10,700 per acre.”

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