Cost-benefit analysis debated at RM of Edenwold

·2 min read

A cost-benefit analysis is being proposed as part of the RM of Edenwold’s official community plan procedures as council approved the first reading of the bylaw amendment on Jan. 12.

The amendment was requested by the provincial Community Planning branch, and will now be headed to a public hearing process before it can be formally adopted by Council.

While not commonly used across Saskatchewan municipalities, cost-benefit analysis has also been used as a tool in White City’s Town Centre planning process.

Even as the process was debated, Coun. Wayne Joyce was still unsure why a cost-benefit analysis was needed in Edenwold, if it is not a common practice in other municipalities in the province.

“Let me understand this — Community Planning has said our OCP isn’t up to snuff until you have this required cost-benefit analysis,” Joyce said. “Yet try and find places in Saskatchewan that are required to have one. I don’t quite understand where the hell they can be coming from to be saying our OCP must be saying that, even though our experience is nobody does it with one exception being what White City is doing. I would suggest a development which they are doing is far different from anything else that any municipality will ever do. It makes no sense to me personally.”

While acknowledging Joyce’s point, planning and development director Jana Jedlic said that though the legislation states a municipality is not ultimately required to have a cost-benefit analysis, there are benefits to it.

“I think it’s a sensible tool to have,” Jedlic said. “If it is the case where somebody proposes a development to council and you genuinely have some concerns for the long-term benefits to the municipality ... let’s say you have a very low-density development where there’s five 20-acre lots where you are going to bring municipal services, water and sewer, out two kilometres. There’s huge infrastructure costs for five properties. Council could then say that’s a lot of lines in the ground to maintain for five properties. That’s why it’s a tool we may want to use from time to time.”

Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum