YORKTON - In November, 2020 Yorkton Council committed to reviewing its priority chart on a quarterly basis.
The most recent review took place Monday at a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting.
Since a contract has been signed for an external operations audit to take place that was removed from the top-five priorities of Council, leaving an opening to add something.
City manager Lonnie Kaal suggested a full meeting of Yorkton Council to meet with the full Council of the RM of Orkney to discuss the fate of York Lake Road might be one to move to the list.
Kaal noted the city has received multiple complaints about the condition of the road in recent weeks.
“There’s definitely a divide on what’s going to happen on that road,” she said.
Kaal also noted the city is undertaking to grade the road because it was deemed “impassable” at a cost of $8,000.
Councillor Quinn Haider questioned what happened to a proposed meeting between the city and the RM on York Lake Road.
Mayor Mitch Hippsley said RM Reeve Randy Trost had suggested a meeting in January.
“That meeting never took place. They were the ones in charge of instituting it,” he said.
Since that time Hippsley said he received a call from Trost telling him the RM “has chosen to walk away from the whole responsibility of that road . . . They are basically handing the keys to us.”
That decision by the RM came after the city allocated and provided $200,000 to do work to be undertaken by the RM.
Haider wanted to know if the city will get the $200K back?
“I understand we’re going to try,” said Hippsley, adding he still believes he and the city have a good relationship with the Reeve and RM.
Others were not so sure.
“Yes we do have some relationship building to do,” said Coun. Randy Goulden.
Coun. Chris Wyatt said “when the rubber hit the road” it was obvious the relationship with the RM over York Lake Road was strained.
Calling the road something of “a Pandora’s Box” Hippsley admitted “. . . I think we’ve back slid a few steps.”
Wyatt said ultimately the York Lake Road should not be a priority “as long as we grade our portion of the road.”
Instead Wyatt said York Road “is a way more important piece of infrastructure” which the city is investing millions to upgrade, but work needs to also focus on moving heavy truck traffic to use Grain Millers Road to preserve the city investment.
With that in mind, Coun. Ken Chyz asked if the city could institute weight restrictions on York Road to preserve it?
“I don’t know for sure,” replied Kaal, who added since the road in a connector she didn’t expect the city would have the authority.
In terms of getting heavy traffic to Grain Millers Road, it to falls under the jurisdiction of the RM of Orkney and any work required to make it viable for additional heavy traffic would fall to the RM, noted Kaal.
In the end the road situation was not added to the top priorities of Council which chose instead to add a review of the York Landing Subdivision and what is being done to encourage land sales there.