Highways plans to reimburse Armley landowner for relocating trees

ARMLEY — An independent appraiser will be brought in to determine the fair market value of a strip of land containing trees on the southeast corner of the Highway 35-Highway 335 intersection, the highways ministry said.

The property was expropriated in January to remove the trees. The removal was recommended as part of a review by McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. aimed at preventing accidents like the April 6, 2018 Humboldt Broncos collision in the future.

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No final agreement has been reached yet between the property owner and the ministry

The review gave 13 recommendations, ordered by priority, which included rumble strips, wider shoulders, removal of a gravel roadway and the realignment of the grain elevator access to Highway 335.

“There was a series of recommendations,” said Patrick Book, Ministry of Highways’ communication consultant.

“Virtually all of them have been followed through with, the only outstanding recommendation that has yet to be taken care of was that SaskPower transmission lines be relocated. That move is planned for later this year.”

Book said the independent appraisal of the expropriated tree line was to find a fair market value for the expropriation. 

“So that takes into account the value of the private land in the sight triangle that was expropriated, the loss of the property value after the trees were removed, any costs associated with relocating the orchard, and any other associated losses that may have been absorbed by the landowner.”

A reimbursement timeline hasn’t been confirmed.

No action to expropriate land can be taken in Saskatchewan unless the expropriating authority has first made a reasonable effort to acquire the land by purchase from the registered owner.

The ministry has no comment on the GoFundMe page that was made by a family friend of the landowners to fund a new, relocated orchard. As of March 28, the site has received $2,000 in donations.

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