POP: Public Utilities Easements
Res #: POP 2-11A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and Attorney General
WHEREAS the Government of Saskatchewan is, through the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program, assisting rural municipalities in the establishment of community wells; and
WHEREAS one of the conditions of providing financial assistance is that the municipality meet the requirements for Saskatchewan Watershed Authority ground water and/or surface water approval; and
WHEREAS in order to meet those requirements, the municipality must either own the land on which the well is to be located or have an interest in the land capable of registration against the parcel of land; and
WHEREAS the owners of the land on which the community well is to be located may not want to sell that portion of their land on which the well is to be located to the municipality; and
WHEREAS a community well would be considered a "public utility" within the meaning of The Municipalities Act; and
WHEREAS an interest for a community well does not come within the class of interests considered public utility easements under The Public Utilities Easements Act; and
WHEREAS there are advantages to being able to characterize an interest as a Public Utility Easement;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Government of Saskatchewan to amend The Public Utilities Easements Act and/or The Public Utilities Easements Regulations to include, within the class of interests considered public utility easements, an interest for a community well.
Response from Honourable Don Morgan, Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General:
The resolution requests an amendment to The Public Utilities Easements Act (PUEA) to address certain concerns with the process for establishing community wells in rural areas through the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program.
Easements created under the PUEA usually involve works and utilities that cross many parcels of land. An easement for access to a community well would likely require access through one or a small number of parcels. As a result of this difference, further consideration will be required to determine whether the amendment you request would resolve your concerns.
I have requested that my officials work with you and Saskatchewan Watershed Authority to further understand and explore your concerns. My officials will contact you shortly to begin this process.
Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention.