If you read last week's post (available for reading at montysimon.blogspot.ca as well as in this newspaper in the future) you should realize the imminence of the Town's acquisition of the CN property.
Due diligence is ongoing and should culminate in an official and somewhat historic moment some time soon.
I do not know specifically when this will all be done, however we all hope it is soon as there is still plenty of work to do.
If you are wondering what I imply to be historic, consider that for a small town to succeed in acquiring such land from a railway like CN, is comparable to snatching a chicken from a fox's mouth when the fox is the size of a prehistoric beast! Some time during the month of September we should finally see excavators, loaders and trucks beginning to remove some of the earth where Prendiville Wood Preservers was once located.
This material will be trucked to Neepawa's old landfill where it can be permanently disposed of in an appropriate manner.
Since Neepawa partnered with a number of other jurisdictions a few years ago and created the Evergreen Landfill, the old dump has been on hiatus. Never officially closed, although the Province has reminded Town officials we must head in the direction, the site awaits a large volume of earthen material to cap it off and seal it from the environment.
Although the material anticipated from the CN excavation may not be perfect for capping our old landfill, it will go a long way toward shaping and burying the mound of waste material that remains. The two projects were meant for each other. Next, upon completion of the excavation at the CN property and finalization of the purchase agreement, Council shall have the very important and perhaps arduous task of deciding who, what, where, when, why and how the land is developed.
There will undoubtedly be numerous ideas and concerns. There will be stakeholders and naysayers. Some will be impatient while others procrastinate.
In the end the task remains very important and deserves focus and commitment.
Neepawa taxpayers will have invested seriously while several interested parties await a chance to put the land to use. It's up to Council to move forward expediently, efficiently, with a goal of seeing results ASAP. I have spent a fair amount of my own time researching and pondering the tasks I see as necessary to bring the property into play.
Put into a time-line, these are things that need to be undertaken regardless of some of the variables faced.
Things such as re-designation within the Neepawa & Area Development Plan, re-zoning, infrastructure integration and ultimately, creation of a professional master plan to guide this Council as well as future Councils throughout what is sure to be a number of years of physical development.
Some of these things could have been started already, some might have even been completed by now.
Others cost significantly so justifiably should have waited for the sure sign.
At this point we are still getting ready.
And you know what they say in hide & seek...ready or not, here we come!