City of Grand Forks considers land transfer with Roxul

The City of Grand Forks is discussing the transfer of road and land properties to Roxul Inc.
The topic was discussed as Bylaw No. 1931, the Roxul Road Closure Bylaw, during the city council meeting on Aug. 27 at city hall.
City council gave three readings of the bylaw, though the motion still has to go through final reading and there may be further discussion at a later meeting. Bylaw No. 1931 is intended to affect the closure of the required non-developed sections of roadway located in the city’s industrial park.
Leslie McLaren, the North American government affairs and corporate communications manager for Roxul Inc., noted that the land trade was made between the city and Roxul to ensure safer road and land access in the community and around the Roxul facility.
“Roxul will be trading some 3,000 square metres of our property for 6,000 square metres of city property,” she stated in an email. Along with transferring property to the city, Roxul plans to fill and construct a three-metre wide ramp for the Trans Canada Trail to access 68th Avenue. There will also be a 10-metre roadway constructed from a new proposed Roxul access road from 68th Avenue, along the north boundary of the Roxul property going east from the trail, including a small parking area at the start of the trail.
A portion of the existing Trans Canada Trail, located directly east of the former CanPar property and currently trespasses on Roxul lands, will not be affected.
Roxul representatives noted they would formally dedicate that portion of the land for trail purposes as part of the compensation for city property.
“Roxul has agreed, as part of this land transfer, to smooth out access, fill in, and prepare a parking lot that the community will be able to use to leave vehicles, and access the nature trail that runs along Kettle River through to Christina Lake,” said McLaren.
As Roxul updates the Trans Canada Trail, they will also be looking to potentially add trail map signage on the lot and “plant trees along the lot line along the back of the factory to provide a more enjoyable experience,” McLaren said.
Roxul will settle the surveying and transferring costs, including updates to the trail.
Lynne Burch, city chief administrative officer, noted that the city is waiting for the final survey plan.
“What will happen is we have to advertise it in the paper, and it has to go in for two consecutive issues,” she explained. “From there, we can take it back to council for adoption, before it goes to the Land Title Office.”
After it is submitted to the land title office, there will have to be a plan of subdivision and road dedication that the city is also waiting for.
The subdivision plan will dedicate the new roadways, new portion of the trail and trail parking area, and consolidate the Lot 9 properties and closed road portions with existing Roxul properties.
Burch noted that the property will then be transferred to Roxul and Roxul can begin building and bringing in their
equipment.
The ad will ask residents that if their interests may be impacted, they can bring their concerns to city council during the meeting they plan on adopting the bylaw at.
“We are going to be adopting (the bylaw) on Sept. 17,” said Burch, adding the trails would not be touched. “The only thing that will happen is that we’re going to get improvements made for the trail and Roxul will be doing that at their cost.”
Last summer, representatives from Roxul Inc. made a proposal to council to acquire portions of city lands for the purpose of installing new pollution abatement equipment intended to deal with the “blue smoke” currently being discharged through the plant’s stake.
Roxul noted that they intended to install around $6 million worth of improvements to the Grand Forks facility, but the additional upgrades would encroach city land.
It was also noted that the company wished to re-develop their property to construct a safer
access from 68th Avenue and to close the existing access to 2nd Street.
McLaren noted that Roxul’s target for completion is late 2012.

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