Reeve owns land, avoided Wascana Village dealings, RM says
Regina-area RM says Kevin Eberle recused himself from council decisions
The reeve of the rural municipality of Sherwood owns land south of Regina where Wascana Village would go — but has recused himself from all council dealings on the matter, the RM says.
In a news release Tuesday, the RM that surrounds Regina responded to a "municipal inspection" the province has launched concerning the proposed 14,000-resident development, saying it would co-operate fully with inspector Ron Barclay.
It also said the reeve of the RM, Kevin Eberle, owns land on the site, but that's well known and steps have been taken to avoid conflict of interest.
"This fact has been fully disclosed to [RM of Sherwood] Council and he has therefore recused himself from all Council deliberations and motions involving Wascana Village,” the news release said.
Deputy Reeve Tim Probe told reporters Tuesday that he believes the probe will confirm that everything was done properly.
"I think the provincial government is just making sure the table is clean and that the RM has done what we can do to make sure our paperwork is in order, and we believe it is," Probe said.
Probe added the RM also wants the investigation to examine the province's approval process, noting many have concerns it takes too long.
"There has been and continues to be tremendous interest from local, national and international developers and investors in the RM of Sherwood," Probe said. "So we need to get this process rectified."
The proposal to put a large residential community virtually on Regina's doorstep has not been welcomed by City of Regina officials, including Mayor Michael Fougere.
The city has its own plans for residential development on its fringes and recently annexed RM Sherwood land to help make that possible.
The two sides have gone into mediated discussions in an attempt to smooth out their differences.
Meanwhile, according to the province, Barclay's investigation will cover events which led to the approval of the development by Sherwood council, the "appropriateness" of how RM officials conducted themselves and whether or not the rules for disclosing "pecuniary interests" are working.
The RM said while waiting for provincial approval, the project has been subject to "inordinate delay and bureaucracy."
It wants the inspector's terms of reference expanded to cover what happened on the province's end.