Neepawa Council approves deal to complete CN property


By Kate Jackman-Atkinson

The Neepawa Banner

On Sept 16, the Town of Neepawa council met for their regular council meeting. Just into fall, councillors had little to report about their individual council activities but the meeting set the stage for what could be a busy fall in the town.

Councillors Dean Dietrich and Lisa Pottinger reported on a recent NADCO meeting. At the meeting, the representatives were informed that they should hear back from the province by the end of this month regarding funding for the redevelopment of the former East View Lodge. The proposal would see the site turned into 42 units of seniors housing.

During the meeting, council passed two resolutions that will lead to development within the town. The first request was one put forward by Neepawa resident Brad Hackewich. Hackewich has moved the former Ag West shop building onto his Commerce St. property and plans to redevelop it into housing. While at the site, the building is still on blocks and hasn’t yet been set anywhere. The proposal came before council as council must approve any buildings that are moved into the town.

Planning officer Jeff Braun explained that Hackewich had submitted a detailed site layout as well as interior plan for the house, which will have a 1,200 sq.ft. main floor as well as a second floor. He said that the building meets the Town’s zoning requirements and will be serviced by a private well and a holding tank.

Braun explained that if approved, Hackewich will have to provide a engineered foundation plan, one designed especially for the building. He would also have to comply with all current building code requirements. “It will be treated as new construction,” he explained.

Council seemed satisfied with the proposal put forward. “It addresses a lot of questions we would ask about what [the proponent] is doing,” said Dietrich. Council approved the conceptual drawings of the building with the conditions that all required permits are obtained, that Hackewich enters into a development agreement with the Town and that he works in conjunction with

the planning office to ensure the project meets all necessary criteria. “We’re happy to have something that will be of benefit to the community,” said mayor Bill Stilwell.

Council approved a subdivision request put forward by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. The request was to subdivide the lot immediately west of Calvary Chapel from the church’s property. The home on the lot to be subdivided had been the church’s manse. The request would see the front half of that lot would be subdivided, while the back half of the lot would remain with the church property as a possible site for future expansion.

A joint use agreement was developed so that the lane could be used by both the former manse house as well as the neighbour to the west.

Assistant CAO Colleen Synchyshyn said that the subdivision request is very simple, however, there is one complication. In 1892, a lane was closed and this land is included in the property in question. When the lane was closed, the title of that land wasn’t vested property– the paperwork was never recorded with Land Titles.

Synchyshyn said that they have put forward a request to the province for advice on how to remedy this situation. She added that approving the sub- division should help move their request further up the province’s priority list.

Council passed the subdivision request and are waiting to hear back from the province.

The redevelopment of the former CN property edged further forward. Council approved the purchase of the remaining portion of the property not owned by the Town from Crop Production Services. “This is really good news,” said Stilwell.

The deal will see the town purchase the land for $1. The purchased piece of land is at the north end of the former CN property. As part of the deal, the town will also acquire CPS’s fertilizer sheds near the south end of the property. This land had been leased by CPS and will have to be cleaned up by the town.

Manager of operations Denis Saquet said that the Town will incur some costs to clean up the fertilizer storage site, which contains buildings, some with cement foundations, that would have to be removed as well as a potential cost for soil remediation.

Saquet estimated the cost of site remediation to be between $40,000 and $50,000. Although he added that could be offset if they award a contract to salvage materials from the site.

Synchyshyn noted that the contract does include a clause that would prevent the site from being used in a similar way, the sale of fertilizer, in the next 20 years.

Council also discussed some ongoing projects including the south portion of the Trans Canada Trail through town and an update to the Town’s Parks Use Policy.