The effort to secure the necessary land so that Estevan's new truck route can proceed continues to experience steady progress, according to Mayor Roy Ludwig.
It's been more than a year since Estevan City Council revealed that the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure was having a difficult time purchasing the land adjacent to the route. And while they haven't been able to purchase the adjacent land from the farm owners, Ludwig said they are working towards a conclusion.
As of the last update a month ago, about half of the landowners had accepted the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure's offer.
“They're working on getting the rest of the land that they do not have, finishing up their engineering and moving forward with building the actual truck bypass,” said Ludwig.
The City, the RM and the Ministry of Highways have met on several occasions to work out any of the other issues that the RM and the City would have with the truck route, and those issues have been resolved.
All that remains now is the land problem.
Ludwig said the provincial government would make a third assessment for the land owners.
“They check the sales in the area for what the land in the area had been selling for, and basically that's how they reach their evaluations,” said Ludwig. “They would take the average of the land sales in the area, which would help figure into their calculations as to what the land would be worth.”
If they still couldn't reach an agreement, they would move towards expropriation, he said.
Despite the delays, Ludwig is confident that some work on the truck route will happen this year. The provincial government reaffirmed their commitment to the project this spring, and Ludwig says that it's a sign that the government expects work to occur in 2013.