News source from CTV News
Francois Biber, CTV Saskatoon
Published Thursday, January 3, 2019 7:00PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, January 3, 2019 7:07PM CST
A short roadway in the Rural Municipality of Dundurn is at the centre of a $100 million lawsuit.
The RM, located about 40 kilometres south of Saskatoon, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of residents and landowners claiming the closure of a main artery in the county has cost locals thousands of dollars in added fuel costs, transportation costs, and has blocked off customers from local businesses.
The statement of claim was filed in federal court on Dec. 14, 2018. The federal government has 30 days to respond.
The suit states when the federal government gated off access to Strathcona Road, it broke a 60-year agreement. Strathcona Road was a main artery in the RM, connecting residents on the east side of the Canadian Forces Detachment (CFD) Camp Dundurn to nearby attractions including Dakota Dunes Casino, Pike Lake Provincial Park, Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Highway 219.
In its statement of claim the RM looks at an engineering report conducted by Camp Dundurn. It shows that paving Strathcona Road would cost $5.23 million but closing it off would cost nothing.
Devin Heidt, who owns Mountainview Food and Fuel right off the Highway 11 access point into the Town of Dundurn, said that since the road closure he’s seen and heard there’s a noticeable difference in how many people drive through town.
“People in the RM of Dundurn and the Town of Dundurn, they’ve noticed a decrease in the amount of people that are able to get here, that used to shop and do their business here, they can’t any more so they have to go all the way around and that’s one thing we hear a lot about,” he said.
Heidt said going around the road closure is adding about 45 minutes to the commute and that’s becoming a little expensive for those looking to get to the Town of Dundurn, and for residents of the town to drive out.
“For years communities along Highway 219, they’d come across and do their business here whether it’s having lunch or supper, shopping in our business … and with that road closure it’s made it incredibly inconvenient for them, very expensive to go around,” Heidt said.
“And if look at it from the other side of things, you’re looking at a beautiful casino and a new hotel, for anyone looking to travel there that’s an added cost.”
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