The Town of White City has initiated a process to incorporate, into a single municipality, our town, Emerald Park, Park Meadows Estates, Meadow Ridge Estates, Escott/Deneve, Great Plains Industrial Park and sufficient additional land to support a well- planned and managed community for the next 25 years.
This proposal satisfies a suite of critical objectives including responsible land planning and management, democratic representation, sound governance and the cost effective and efficient provision of community services and infrastructure.
To read the entire proposal click the button below to download a copy.
Our proposal considers the very real changes that will occur today with this incorporation and the way it will impact everyone in the community and broader region. It includes the suggested establishment of a cooperative Joint Planning Area between the new community and the RM of Edenwold to develop a long-range plan and issue management forum for the areas adjacent to the new community.
As shown on the accompanying map, the area being proposed for inclusion in this new community is the contiguous urban area located south of Highway #1, a natural physical boundary, including the existing Town of White City, the unincorporated commercial and residential areas that comprise Emerald Park and the country residential areas directly adjacent to White City. Also included is sufficient undeveloped land to meet the growth requirements to 2045.
Map of Proposed New Urban Community Based on 25 Year Growth Projection
- Better governance and democratic representation for residents and business owners
- Well-planned and managed land development
- Cost effective, efficient and modern community services
- Greater capacity to build schools and recreation facilities
- Strategic commercial development
- More efficient transportation and utility infrastructure
- Planning for parks and open spaces
- Equitable taxation for the benefit of the whole community
The pace of population growth, the absence of an overall governance system and the lack of a comprehensive land use plan are creating the real prospect of unresolvable issues that will impact how this community will look and feel for generations to come.
Clearly the first step must be the creation of a governance model capable of driving the comprehensive planning and management structures needed to ensure the community grows in a well-planned and cost-effective manner. The new governance model must provide direct democratic representation for all the affected citizens, so they can have an equal voice in shaping the new community.
As one integrated community, residents and businesses will have better representation with one urban municipal council and have a voice in the municipal decisions that affect his or her lifestyle, taxation and community services.
Solving Land Development Issues
A lack of coordinated development in previous decades and growth in our broader community has occurred in a random manner and resulted in troubling fragmentation. Continuation of this practice has significant medium to long term implications, particularly for the management of infrastructure and the delivery of community services. Future preferred land uses, and associated infrastructure development could be seriously compromised by having to reflect the random pattern of preceding development. Service delivery will become increasingly more complex, difficult and costly.
The growth pattern clearly reflects developer-initiated processes that have occurred in the absence of an integrated plan.
White City's Growth Study indicates a deficit of 168.8 acres of commercial and industrial lands already exist within the town's current boundary. Infrastructure is well invested to meet short term demands but land availability is a critical factor that will limit long term development opportunity.
The development of one integrated community will address these land use planning and development concerns by ensuring all proposed land uses and community services are considered and well-managed now and into the future.
In addition, to avoid continued fragmentation adjacent to the new community, which would present a significant risk to achieving the ultimate vision, this proposal includes formalization of a Joint Planning Area between the new city and the RM of Edenwold for the area required to meet growth demands beyond 25 years. This provides the forum for preparing a comprehensive long-term land use plan and would establish protocols to jointly consider development proposals and the most efficient approach to providing broader infrastructure services.
Creation of cost effective, efficient and modern community services
As our growth continues, increased demand for services and strain on current infrastructure will follow suit. Community service improvements must keep pace with growth, whether this be the need for emergency services, road and sewer systems, schools, or parks and recreation facilities.
A consolidated urban community will be much better positioned to take advantage of the funding opportunities available from other levels of government and initiate the land use planning and financial negotiations to deliver integrated education and community service centers.
With a growing regional population, decisions will be needed in the near term on the location of new schools and the addition of new community facilities to support the complete range of sports and recreation activities expected in an urban center such as ours.
Commercial and Light Industrial Development
The business growth in our community has been tremendous in the past 10 years with many entrepreneurs and local business owners deciding to create opportunity here and we want that to continue.
Considerable opportunity exists for a consolidated community to expand our economic base through the addition of new commercial and light industrial enterprises. With a new governance structure as one community, planning to properly locate these developments in industrial parks that optimize transportation routes, ensure cost effective utility services and reflect progressive environmental practices would occur.
Transportation and Utility Infrastructure
The roads, sewers, water and power lines are the backbone of any community. Without proper forward-thinking planning these vital systems can be placed in peril.
Planning and creating a comprehensive long-range strategy for these services will be vital to the success of our community. By creating one urban community under one governance model, we can safeguard ourselves from differing plans creating unforeseen and costly issues and better plan for the cost-effective, efficient, reliable and consistent services to meet our needs now and well into the future.
Parks and Open Spaces
Our community is a great place to live with many wonderful, natural amenities. We are surrounded by green space that we want to preserve and develop responsibly. By having a singular governance structure that is tasked with protecting and developing usable green spaces, we can ensure that we develop a healthy community that is full of walking and biking trails, parks and recreational facilities for the enjoyment of all.
Lower taxes and better money management
The Town of White City commissioned a comparative analysis of the property tax implications for all the properties inside the proposed annexation area, utilizing the most recent assessment and taxation information available.
Property taxes are determined by the interplay between assessed value, taxable assessment, municipal budgets, and the mill rate.
Property taxes between White City and Emerald Park are quite similar. Using 2017 data, the analysis indicates that municipal property taxes for all classes of property will decline by 7.3%.
Residential properties see a 1.1% overall decrease in municipal taxes, but it must be noted that a small number of properties would experience increases, while the vast majority will experience reductions or remain the same. Also, of note is a 3.9% overall decline in taxes for the 87 country residential properties.
The largest average drop in municipal property taxes (16.8%) occurs for commercial properties. While there is a wide range of impacts depending on the specific business, the Town of White City has recently adopted a new Business Friendly Policy, including keeping commercial property taxes and municipal fees at a level that is one of the most competitive in Saskatchewan.
It must also be noted that agricultural properties would see no change. White City’s policy for annexed agricultural properties is to maintain the municipal taxes at the same rate paid to the RM prior to annexation for as long as the use of the property remains agricultural. During the 2015 Boundary Alteration process, White City annexed agricultural properties and provided for a long-term fixed assessment agreement for the lands annexed. White City is committed to continuing this policy for all agricultural properties annexed. Thus, there is no impact to the municipal taxes paid on agricultural properties.
One Community. One Voice.
Our community is your community and we want to work with you to create the best place to live, work and raise a family, now and for future generations. We want you to be engaged throughout this process and we invite you to attend our Public Open Houses or contact us for more information.