Growth Study Update Supports White City’s One-Community Plan
Town completes application to Saskatchewan Municipal Board
For Immediate Release
May 12, 2020
WHITE CITY, SK: The Town of White City announced today that it has filed additional research and reports by independent third parties to support its application to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB) to become one community with Emerald Park.
If the SMB application is approved, municipal status would bring White City, the rural subdivision of Emerald Park, adjacent commercial and industrial lands and the country residential subdivisions of Escott/Deneve, Park Meadows Estates, and Meadow Ridge Estates into one urban municipality.
“Our proposal would unify the urban community of White City and Emerald Park and give us the capacity and opportunity to provide the urban infrastructure and services residents will expect in the
future,” said White City Councillor Hal Zorn. “As one community, we can provide better, shared services – for less – than we can if we remain apart.”
White City has now submitted to the SMB a Growth Study Update by urban planning specialists, ISL Engineering and Metro Economics. This report was commissioned to independently review a 2018 study completed by Crosby Hanna and Associates. It is available at: www.one-community.ca/downloads
The review confirmed that the median growth rate of 5.12 percent, established by Crosby Hanna, is a reasonable forecast of growth in the White City area over the next 25 years. White City has been the fastest growing town in Canada over the two most recent census periods (2006-11 and 2011-16).
ISL’s report found that White City’s future growth is being boxed in by adjacent development in the RM. In fact, 55% of the town’s perimeter is now surrounded by development or barriers beyond its control. Left unaddressed, this figure will rise to 85% and White City will then only be able to grow towards the southwest in the future.
"The degree to which White City’s growth is being restricted is unprecedented," said Councillor Zorn. "There is no other Saskatchewan community facing this type of limitations to its growth."
White City’s desire for municipal status has received wide support in the community. A public survey submitted as part of the Town’s application showed support for an amalgamated larger community at 71% in White City and 58% in Emerald Park.
One of the key areas of interest and concern for residents is the potential of a future high school for the community.
“If we come together as one community, the rationale for a local high school becomes even stronger,” said Zorn. “The potential of building a new high school alongside a staged, multi-use community recreation facility opens many different options for private and public funding. It’s the kind of project that a growing, unified community can plan for.”
Similarly, where a unified approach to community services has worked for the community, continuation of that model is in the interests of all. White City’s Fire Department has served the Town and the RM in partnership for over 40 years and has over 25 dedicated volunteer members from White City, Emerald Park and the RM providing fire protection and medical aid to the community. White City continues to provide mutual aid assistance to Pilot Butte, Balgonie and Edenwold when needed. This model has worked well to efficiently provide protection services to all of our residents.
“Now, more than ever, taxpayers are looking to all levels of government to provide services in the most efficient and cost-effective way,” commented Zorn. “This independent report further confirms what is already common sense and the urgent need to move forward with a one-community approach.”
For further information, please contact:
Manager, Governance and Legislative Services
Town of White City
306.781.2355 ext. 229