Hearing to take place in late fall for road near Owlseye
Following a failed mediation between the County of St. Paul and a county ratepayer regarding the construction of a road in the Owlseye area, the appeal will now go to a hearing, which is expected to take place sometime in November.
Because specifics from the mediation are not made public, County of St. Paul CAO Sheila Kitz could only confirm “there was no resolution reached as a result of the mediation, therefore the issue will proceed to a hearing.”
On Aug. 2, County of St. Paul Coun. Glen Ockerman forwarded a letter addressed to Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith to local newspapers, expressing his concerns regarding St. Paul-Lac La Biche-Two Hills MLA Shayne Saskiw’s involvement in the mediation process.
“I am writing to express my concern about the recent alignment of your party member and our Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills MLA Shayne Saskiw in an appeal process between the County of St. Paul and a dissatisfied resident,” begins the letter, later stating, “My concern is that Mr. Saskiw has aligned himself with the appellants.”
Ockerman further states that because the County of St. Paul council is made up of elected councillors, Saskiw “is working against the majority of county residents that voted in the existing council.”
He later states, “This is a municipal issue and as such should be left to the municipal council to act appropriately for the betterment of the municipality as a whole,” says Ockerman’s letter.
Kitz clarified that the letter did not represent the views of the County of St. Paul as a whole.
Saskiw confirmed to the Journal that he was involved in the mediation process after a constituent approached him with environmental concerns on the proposed road.
“My role is to stand up and represent all constituents,” said Saskiw, adding, the mediation was “a very open, frank discussion.” He confirmed that details from the mediation were not available to be made public.
The road in question was added to the county’s strategic plan after other area ratepayers requested the road construction to Division 6 Coun. Frank Sloan. The proposed road would be constructed on a statutory road allowance, according to information received from Kitz.
The existing road in the area is a forced road that goes through the community of Owlseye and was not built to handle the type of traffic that is now being seen on the road, which includes a number of large trucks.
“The proposed new road will increase the safety of the travelling public and . . . reduce traffic through Owlseye,” said Kitz, in a previous story with the Journal.
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