Connecting Thatcher Drive to the new hospital

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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The city is going to service nine lots in the area around Diefenbaker Drive.

Council voted in favour executive committee’s decision to service nine lots at a cost of approximately $1.46 million. It will connect Thatcher Drive East to the new regional hospital.

“When there was discussion about developing Diefenbaker Drive and completing that area, people will know that it’s important for traffic flow coming in off the highway, curving around to where the hospital is and having access to that area,” said Mayor Deb Higgins. “Otherwise you’re going to be cutting down Thatcher Drive, which is getting busier all the time with all the commercial activity and development in that area.”

But not all councillors were in favour of this decision. Coun. Brian Swanson, who requested the revote at Monday’s council meeting, said he didn’t think the city should do all nine lots.

“I’m a bit torn on this one because I can understand that might be the possibility that some of those lots might be desired by developers,” he said. “The biggest concern I have is we can spend the $1.459 million to service these lots, but it is only when we sell the ninth lot that we will start to make any money … which is really the taxpayer’s money.”

Swanson added he’d rather start with servicing three lots instead of nine. There are other serviced lots that he said haven’t been selling really well.

“In cities with modern economies, to start and throw money into the ground, incur things that won’t pay taxes when you have a significant inventory of serviced lots that aren’t moving, I don’t quite follow the logic of it,” he said.

However, Coun. Don Mitchell said the area, formerly referred to as Grayson Industrial Park, is “an area in transition.”

“We’re talking about a shift from what was an industrial park to commercial area development that’s been impacted in a major way by the location of the regional hospital facility and on Diefenbaker Drive,” he said.

Coun. Heather Eby said she’s hopeful that more interest will be generated in the other serviced lots once development takes off around Diefenbaker Drive.

“It’s going to give us the option of completing Diefenbaker Drive and I think that’s key because … that will be a very main road there,” she said.

The motion was approved in a vote of 4-3 with Swanson, Coun. Candis Kirkpatrick and Coun. Dawn Luhning opposed. Council also confirmed executive committee’s decision to service 93 Diefenbaker Dr. at a cost of $26,300.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

 

Geographic location: Grayson Industrial Park

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