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Weyburn council gives green light for Family Place project

Family Place request for partial or full waiver of levy denied
Dawn Gutzke, executive director of the Family Place, was on hand for council's decision on the Family Place's project to expand their new location

WEYBURN – Weyburn city council approved an application by the Family Place for an addition to their new building that will more than double its size, but denied a request for a waiver of the development levy.

The Family Place is planning to move from their location on Fourth Street to the former Dance Zone building on McLelland Street, and have put forward a plan to build an addition of 2,976 square feet onto the existing building which is 1,902 sq. ft. in area.

The addition will include five new toilets, three sinks, laundry facilities and a full kitchen. The development levy for this project is calculated at $4.51 per square foot, or $13,421 in total, as the development officer feels this addition “will have additional impact on the city’s infrastructure and services. The intent of the off-site development levy is to offset the costs of the additional impact.”

In a letter to council, executive director Dawn Gutzke appealed for a partial or full waiver of the levy, questioning the need for the full levy on their development.

“I question whether there would be any increased demand for the infrastructure. We will impact roads, water, sewer, police, fire and general utilities precisely as we did before in our current location, as an organization,” she said, pointing out that the Family Place is not tax-exempt and is dependent on government grants and donations from the community.

In spite of councillors voicing support of the Family Place and their programs, none would support even a reduction of the levy or its full waiver.

Coun. Mel Van Betuw pointed out the levy “is to offset the increased wear and tear on the infrastructure. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the cost of progress, and I commend you for growing and planning for a place that’s busier and better than what you have already.”

“I’m a big fan of the Family Place,” said Coun. Laura Morrissette, and added of the levy, “It’s a big upfront cost, but we have to be mindful of the taxpayers dollars. We want to help everyone we can. … I’d love to give you a waiver, but we just can’t.”

For the development permit, the City received one letter of concern about the proposed relocation of Family Place to the neighbourhood, outlining concerns about motorists pulling U-turns on the street plus the increased traffic from Legacy Park Elementary School along with what the Family Place will bring in.

Coun. Van Betuw, who is a member of the Weyburn Police Commission, noted the concerns brought up in the letter were mentioned to the police, and they will be adjusting their patrols to ensure the traffic laws are adhered to in that neighbourhood.

“We’re fully aware of everything you’ve mentioned, and I appreciate your time on the matter,” Gutzke told council. “Thank you for your support of our project.”

She said the engineering plans are being drawn up, and the hope is to have the building project underway by this fall.

• In other council business, council approved tenders for a watermain replacement on 12th Street, for six projects for new paving and asphalt, and for building pedestrian ramps and rebuilding a sidewalk this year.

For replacing the watermain on 12th Street, Torrent Energy of Weyburn was awarded the contract for a price of $119,210. The City received three bids, the other ones from A&B Concrete and JJ Trucking Ltd.

The proposal is to replace 202 metres of a 150-mm watermain, and to provide temporary overland water service for 20 residential properties while the work is ongoing.

For this year’s paving program, the City had five proposals submitted, and the contract for all six projects was awarded to Genco Asphalt.

The projects include a repair and recap of Saskatchewan Drive; a recap of trails on the Redcoat trail; paving Allen Street as a watermain replacement was completed there last year; repair the pavement on 12th Street where the watermain will be replaced this year; repair and recap the downtown alleyways, and the Legion parking lot off Fourth Street.

The pedestrian ramps will be done for up to 18 locations at eight intersections, with a budget of $35,000, and the sidewalk behind the Co-op grocery store, on the west side of Second Street, will be replaced with a new sidewalk.

The contract for the ramps and sidewalk was awarded to GRI Construction, which had the second-lowest bid of four proposals.