It's seems to be a bit of a touchy subject for both the City of Estevan and the Rural Municipality of Estevan; the interest of the former in aquiring land from the latter.
The City would like to annex some property to accomodate future growth, however, the RM isn't overly impressed at the idea.
It's been under discussion for awhile, according to Mayor Roy Ludwig, and as of Monday's council meeting, the next step has to be taken.
"We've been working with the RM for about 3 years now, and a couple months ago they made the decision that they were not interested in negotiating any more. There are processes in place where we now continue, adhering to guidelines and working with the province moving forward," he said.
The next step entails holding an open house to answer questions from all sides, and a hearing at the provincial level.
"It won't be unlike mediation, whereby the government gets involved, talks to both sides and then comes up with a solution," Ludwig explained.
"This has been done in many other areas of the province, where the RM and City in question couldn't come to an agreement. It goes to the governement, there's a process that takes place, and eventually a decision comes down."
Originally, 10 quarters of land were up for debate, north of the city between the current boundary and the truck bypass. Now, that has been reduced to 5 and a half.
Looking at the map, one can see some developed land, denoting the fact that people reside on some of the areas in question. That brings up the question: what happens with the landowners in the area?
"Not much would change with them, until we actually expanded as a city to the point that we would be looking at expanding into their given acerages. Then at that time, they would be absorbed more in line with the taxation of the city," Ludwig stated.
Basically, this means that for the time being they would stick under the RM's taxation, until city begins to grow around them.
It's not like this is anything new for the Estevan area. Land south of the town was successfully negotiated with the RM, where the West Valley Village is now.
A public open house is scheduled to be held later in the month, set up in Affinity Place, where people can come, ask questions and voice their thoughts on the matter.