Talks continue towards a plan that would see the Rural Municipality of Ritchot annex land from the RM of Tache.

Ritchot Mayor Chris Ewen explains the two municipalities share a border along Arnould Road on the east side of Ile des Chenes. He notes over the years, Ritchot has been looking for ways to grow Ile des Chenes, yet that community is quite landlocked between the pipeline and Tache. 

"So there isn't a lot of room for growth," he says.

According to Ewen, councils from both municipalities have been looking for ways to make an annexation happen that would benefit each side. He notes Ritchot would likely pay Tache for the annexed land, plus the two sides would share some projects for cleaning up drains.

"By doing the annexation process and taking some of that land from Tache to grow Ile des Chenes, we'll be able to help with the drainage on both sides," notes Ewen. "So it's a nice win-win."

Ewen says over the last couple of years there has been much debate over how much land should be part of the annexation. He notes it now sounds as though it would be two sections of land; one that is developed, the other which is not. 

He notes the purpose of the annexation is not to suddenly throw all kinds of new homes into that space. For starters, it will turn individuals which are already shopping and playing sports in Ile des Chenes, into members of the community. Ewen says on top of that it will add a little more sustainable growth to the region.

Ewen says they are currently in the process of informing the public of the plans. Letters have gone out, notifying impacted residents of what could happen if everything goes through. 

"We want this to be the most transparent and the best deal for both sides and we believe we've come pretty close to that," adds Ewen. "It's just in the public consultation stage right now to determine if it makes sense for not only the municipalities but the residents in the area."

He adds because Tache would be losing some tax revenue, Ritchot would be adding a financial component to the deal. 

As for a timeline, Ewen says he is hoping this can be finalized within the next couple of years, but realizes that could be wishful thinking.