The Rural Municipality of Weyburn council will follow up on a concern brought to them by a ratepayer over the safety of a rail crossing where a local farmer was killed this past year.
Ratepayer Cindy Bell was concerned with the safety of the rail crossing, located immediately to the northwest of the city off Highway 39, leading to a grid road which accesses some nearby farms. On June 25, Trevor Roesslein, 42, was killed when a train hit the tractor he was driving as he was hauling seeding equipment at the crossing.
Bell sent a letter to Souris-Moose Mountain Ed Komarnicki asking if safety lights and/or arms could be installed at this crossing to make it safer. Komarnicki forwarded her letter on to Transport Canada, and when they got back to Bell, they told her they deemed the crossing to be safe; thus, she brought her concern to the RM council to see if there was anything they might be able to do.
“This gave us the opportunity to look at all of our rail crossings. In a number of places the sight-lines aren’t very good,” said Reeve Carmen Sterling.
Since Transport Canada sent out an official who looked at the crossing and deemed it as not a hazard, the RM will send a letter to CP Rail to ask for their input on the crossing, and whether there might be a need to improve the safety of the crossing.
Reeve Sterling noted there is a grant that could be available to the RM for up to 80 per cent of the cost of lights, or arms and lights, if they were deemed necessary for the safety of motorists at that crossing.
“We haven’t been involved, until Cindy got a response from Transport Canada,” said the reeve. “We’ll continue to follow up on this issue.”
In other RM business, the RM council approved four development permits, all of them for commercial-industrial uses.
One of them was for Souris Valley Industries, which had to apply for approval as a discretionary use of their land, as their current facility is located on land zoned as agricultural. They were approved after sending out notices to all adjacent land-owners, and received no objections; the company plans to expand their business at their land location.
The other permits included for E. Bourassa and Sons, building a new location on Highway 13 west, across from the Co-op Crossroads gas station; for Richardson Pioneer, which will be building a seed treatment and storage facility by their terminal; and for a commercial building to be built in Evanston Park.
Council also gave approval to a dairy farm which was seeking to expand their operations in the RM; the province gave their approval as well, clearing the way for the RM to approve it.
The RM council gave authorization for Reeve Sterling and the administrator to attend the Regina District RMs association, which will hold a meeting on Jan. 3-4.
This association of RMs in the Regina region meets annually, and share information and common concerns on various issues, said Reeve Sterling.
Among the topics they will be discussing is a presentation from SAMA on the revaluation of properties to take place in 2013, and a presentation from Western Potash about their proposed Milestone potash mine.
There will also be a round-table discussion on various issues, including how municipalities handle waste management.