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County to keep GSR share for now

Posted on September 24, 2019 by 40 Mile Commentator

Justin Seward

Cypress County council received an update on the Great Sandhills Railway (GSR) at its Sept. 17 meeting.
The county has had a $100,000 investment in the Saskatchewan-based railway since 2009.
The purpose of the share was to keep heavy trucks off of county roads to reduce the risk of an accident and wear and tear on the road.
“They’re working with a major corporation to buy those shares from a number of different counties,” said John Belanger, Cypress County’s director of corporate services.
“We obviously attended their AGM and we’re in communication with their management team. They’re keeping us informed of their proceedings and they’re slow.”
Council voted to hang on to their share for meantime because Belanger said “if the value is there, we may sell it. If not we may keep it.”
The idea of selling the share came about in 2018 when council asked administration to explore options to sell the shares.
The county has not a found a buyer for the investment as of yet, but administration has reason to believe that GSR will take greater strides and could take significant strides and could increase its share values in the next couple of years.
Additionally, GSR was a part of a big federal announcement in August where there will be $25 million put into two projects including where there will be improvements to 198 kilometres of GSR’s railway track from Burstall to the CPR mainline in Swift Current.
There will be the installation of a depot track, additionally.
The other project will see the town of Unity, Sask. getting a repair facility.
There was $12.4 million invested by the federal government.
“The federal investment shown in the article attached will be a big step forward for their organization,” said in the county’s agenda package item.
Pembina has an interest in their shares, however, the company is in negotiations for an expansion agreement with GSR at this time.
The rail line runs from Saskatchewan to the Burstall gas plants.

Council approved for HALO Air Rescue to install “You’re in HALO Country” signs on the “Welcome to Cypress County” signs that surround the municipality.
HALO will look after the commissioning and installation of the signs. The process will take place over several months.

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