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Five stories to keep an eye on in the New Year

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It was a year to remember in southwest Winnipeg in 2012 and the coming year is promising to be likewise. Sou’wester reporter Dani Finch takes a look at five key issues area residents will be following closely in 2013.

1. Investors Group Field
While the new stadium has caused many people grief over the last year – between the delays and concerns from residents over noise and traffic potential – the move to Investors Group Field on the University of Manitoba campus is finally happening. The Winnipeg Blue Bomber offices at Canad Inns Stadium will close for good on Jan. 3, and open at Investors Group Field on Jan. 14. The Bomber Store at Canad Inns Stadium closed on Christmas Eve, and the new store at Investors Group Field will open in March. Fans will be able to purchase items online beginning in the New Year.

2. Corydon-area development plan
The city’s property committee passed a motion this past summer that work on a secondary plan for the neighbourhood be quashed due to complaints from residents and business owners that it would hinder growth in the area. A new plan is now in the works and $100,000 in funding was approved for the new plan in late October. Because a consultant has not yet been hired, the new plan likely won’t start to take shape until early 2013.

3. Kapyong Barracks
Earlier this month, a Federal Court ruling on the sale of the former Kapyong Barracks site on Kenaston Boulevard determined the federal government failed to consult four First Nations (Peguis, Long Plain, Roseau River and Sandy Bay) on the sale of the former Canadian Forces base. The land became vacant in 2004 when the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, relocated to CFB Shilo. In 2007, the federal Treasury Board sold the site to Canada Lands Company for development. In 2008, First Nations groups filed a court case to halt the sale stating they had claims to the land through treaty land entitlement.  First Nations leaders have expressed hope for a negotiated settlement over the land.

4. River Heights silos
In September, eight massive industrial silos "appeared" overnight in River Heights. The silos were erected alongside the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line on Lindsay Street near Mathers Avenue. The silos were erected by Fort Distributors, a shipper leasing property from the railway. Residents said they received no notice about the silos prior to the construction. In November, city officials said they planned to issue a bylaw infraction notice to the rail line or the distributor as the placement of the silos violates city zoning bylaws. Coun. John Orlikow (River Heights) said he would like to see the entire railway line relocated.

5. Phase two of rapid transit
Early this fall, the city held open houses to unveil two options for the second phase of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor at a pair of open houses. Both options for phase two of the corridor would start at the Pembina and Jubilee Avenue station and end at the University of Manitoba. One option runs west from Pembina and takes an L-shaped detour through the Beaumont and Maybank residential areas. The other option would see the path run straight down the west side of Pembina. Funding to complete the second phase of the corridor was announced earlier this month, and $137.5 million will be set aside in Winnipeg’s 2014 and 2015 capital budgets. According to transit officials, construction on the new line is set to begin in 2015.

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