Residents question proposed land swap


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Affected residents of a proposed land annexation between the RMs of Tache and Ritchot say they’re weary of how their future taxes and services will be impacted by the land swap.

The RM of Ritchot is asking to annex 1,198 acres of land from its neighbour to the east to expand Ile des Chenes, a plan a few years in the works and included in Tache’s Development Plan.

As it stands, the line dividing the two municipalities runs through the middle of town.

NICOLE BUFFIE THE CARILLON Some residents of the RM of Tache are questioning how annexing 1,200 acres of land to the RM of Ritchot will benefit, or hurt, them in the long run.

At a town hall meeting in Ile des Chenes on Monday evening, residents had the chance to look at the proposal, weigh its pros and cons and submit feedback.

Of the proposed annexation, 102 properties would be affected, with the proposed quadrant spanning from Brule Road along Poirier Road and Arnould Road to Diversion Road.

“As long as they don’t jack up my taxes I’m all for it,” said affected resident Daryl Branton.

Branton lives on Vantage Lane in the RM of Tache, and while he recognizes his taxes will initially go down if the proposed annexation goes ahead, he remains cautious about what the future holds.

“Taxes go up for everyone every year, this is no different.”

The plan promises lower property taxes for affected residents post-merge, estimating a property assessed at $200,000 would save owners $243 once they became RM of Ritchot residents. Farmland occupants would see an estimated decrease of $2.75 per acre of land.

For resident Shay Hawthorn, her concern is being forced to partake in municipal services.

“Yeah it’ll be nice to get my garbage picked up, but I moved to the country for a reason,” she said, adding she would potentially have to hook up to the municipality’s sewer and water system, a service she already pays for.

Placards explaining potential service changes displayed at the TC Energy Centre during the town hall touted the annexation would have “no impact” on most services, and, in fact, would include service “enhancements” such as garbage and recycling — for $160 per year.

Representatives from Scatliff + Miller + Murray, the consulting firm hired by both municipalities to assist in the planning process, were on hand to answer resident questions.

Tom Janzen, Principal at the firm, said the three entities began discussions about the proposed annexation in 2020.

Neither Tache Mayor Armand Poirier nor Ritchot Mayor Chris Ewen could be reached for comment before press time.

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