White City feels they failed the people while RM of Edenwold satisfied with settled legal dispute

On Thursday, it was announced that the four-year-long battle between White City and the Rural Municipality (RM) of Edenwold had been settled in the RM’s favour and the RM feels that this is the way the settlement should have gone.

White City’s Boundary Altercation Application that the town submitted in 2019 to annex up to 4000 acres of RM land (which included Emerald Park) has been denied.

“Taking over a thirty-year plan of the RM developing strategically and in a very smart way a business and an industrial estate over a long period of time and just handing it over to White City was not something that was going to happen,” says Lee Chambers with the RM of Edenwold.

Chambers says that if the decision would have fallen in favour of White City, it would have set precedent for the rest of the province that municipalities can just steal land from other municipalities.

Overall, he says the RM is happy with the results.

White City, however, feels disappointed with being on the losing side of the table and it feels it has let down the people of White City and Emerald Park.

“What many people don’t know is that this whole thing started because of a number of residents of Emerald park who came to the town of White City and said that they were not very happy with their representation and wanted to become a part of White City. That’s what started this more than five years ago,” says the Mayor of White City Brian Fergusson.

He says that a survey was done with the residents of White City and Emerald Park and it came back to the White City council with 58 percent of residents in favour of Emerald park joining White City.

White City currently has roughly 10-12 years’ worth of land to grow on but the town was aiming to create a 25-year plan for growth by annexing the desired land from the RM, according to Fergusson.

He says that the council was also doing this to try to avoid having to go through the altercation application process again every few years.

Fergusson did clarify that no conversation has been had and no decision has been made on whether or not White City will submit another Boundary Altercation Application in the future.

Now that the dispute has been settled, White City’s and the RM’s original development plans will continue as usual.

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