Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig has been pleased with the lack of activity taking place at CP Rail's Estevan oil transload facility.
Ludwig says that during the City's most recent discussions with CP Rail, the rail line giant indicated that they would not be using the facility again, barring something unforeseen.
“Their plan was basically to leave it mothballed,” said Ludwig.
It's been several months since the transload facility was used. It was a contentious project when it opened in early 2012, as residents widely panned the decision to have such an operation in the heart of the city.
Many were concerned with the associated safety issues in case a fire occurred. Others were alarmed that such a project would result in more truck traffic.
Ludwig said the City wasn't given a reason for the end of activity at the transload facility, but CP Rail does have large, active facilities in the Stoughton and Willmar areas.
“Most of the focus is on those for this area,” said Ludwig. “That's what our understanding is.”
At one time, CP Rail said they planned to move their transload operations to just outside of the city limits. Ludwig isn't sure where those plans stand, but he said the new, larger facilities north of the city have taken away the focus from Estevan.
Ludwig said council is pleased that CP Rail isn't loading any more. The current and the previous councils had lobbied CP to relocate the transload centre.
“It's our understanding that, at this point in time, they would be letting us know before they would resume loading in Estevan, if that were to happen,” said Ludwig.
The City does have a liaison committee with CP Rail, and Ludwig said the two sides will discuss the future of the transload area at their next meeting. The last get-together was in early 2014, and he would like to see the committee meet every three or four months.