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RMWB Council mulls over expropriation for egress road

IMAGE. A map of the proposed area for expropriation, within the red border, necessary for the construction of the Secondary Egress Road or so-called Saline Creek Parkway. Municipal land is coloured in a off-white green colour. Supplied by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Mayor and Councillors meet via teleconference on May 27.

They will decide on a motion to expropriate land for the construction of the Secondary Egress Road, or the Saline Creek Parkway.

If approved, Mayor Don Scott and CAO Jamie Doyle would sign a notice of intent to expropriate a 1.63-hectare property necessary for the construction of the Secondary Egress Road Project.

RMWB Council originally deferred the motion on Dec. 10, 2019, to allow for more talks with the landowner.

Numerous discussions between the RMWB and property owner, James Rogers, proved unsuccessful.

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The administration said construction mitigates the risk of future emergencies and improves traffic flow.

“The lower part of the Secondary Egress Road, [or Draper Road realignment] is planned to serve the purpose of both road and flood berm. The Secondary
Egress Road is part of the 2018-2021 RMWB Strategic Plan.”

The administration added expropriation is the only course of action to remain on schedule with construction.

An environment assessment found alternate areas for the route were unsuitable due to topography and slope stability.

Speaking on Dec. 10, 2019, Mayor Don Scott said he was reluctant to proceed with expropriation.

“It’s something I’m extremely reluctant to do. Land ownership is something that’s sacred in my mind.”

If RMWB Council gives the go-ahead, Mayor Don Scott and CAO Jamie Doyle would sign a notice of intent to expropriate.

In the Council Agenda, the RMWB details the process for expropriation.

“At least 30 days prior to the possession date, and not more than 90 days after the registration of the Certificate of Approval at Land Titles, a proposed payment based upon market value established by an appraisal, will be made to the owner and any other interest holder, such as a tenant or mortgage holder, who interest has a market value. The proposed payment can be accepted by the party to whom it is made, and that party may, within one year, make an application to the Land Compensation Board seeking additional compensation.”

Negotiations may continue once even after the filing of the Certificate of Approval and payment between the RMWB and the claimant following a hearing.

Another motion relating to flood mitigation comes before Mayor and Councillors in the Accelerated Flood Mitigation Plan.

Introduced by Mayor Don Scott on May 12, the motion would ask the administration to bring forward the plan within 30 days.

If approved, the motion also calls for an engineering solution including costs and measures to prevent a repeat of the Boil Water Advisory.

Mayor and Councillors will also revisit the motion to establish a Multi-Sector Social Recovery Task Force.

READ MORE: Mayor and Councillors deliberate for six-hour meeting

RMWB Council originally deferred that motion, which Councillor Krista Balsom introduced, on May 12.

The Council meeting begins at 4:00 p.m. on May 27.