Shaunavon becomes first recipient of province’s Impacted Sites Fund

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Last Friday, Town of Shaunavon and Province of Saskatchewan officials gathered at the corner of Third Avenue and 1st Street West to announce the first ever impacted site in the province to receive support from the Impacted Sites Fund.

The Town of Shaunavon acquired the abandoned property in tax arrears in 2022. The building was deemed as dilapidated and needed to be demolished as soon as possible, since the structure posed as a public safety concern. “The roof was caving in, and it was a potential safety hazard and risk to our residents,” said Bennett. “We ended up tearing it down, hauling it away to our landfill and got it all cleaned up. That wasn’t cheap."

It was during the demolition that signs of contamination were found, leading to a larger issue and more costs than previously imagined, where such soil requires extensive cleaning and removal in order to ensure no health risks remain. CAO Fritz proceeded to reach out to the province for direction, which is where the Town discovered the Impacted Sites Fund, a new program being put in place by the province to help smaller population centres dispose of and clean contaminated properties.

Mayor Bennett and CAO Fritz emphasized how the Ministry of Environment was a huge help in assessing how to return the property back to it original state and accessing the funding available. “It’s pretty big deal. And when you run into this contamination in the soil, we want and need to do the right thing and clean it up. It’s huge that the ministry is able to help us out with that”, said Bennett.

Representing the province was Minister Dana Skoropad who reported that “This represents the first funding that’s been given out to a community for this purpose. I expect it to be the first of many, certainly as the message [of the available funding] is spread. [Cleaning up these sites] is crucial and it takes community leadership like Shaunavon to reach out and to say ‘we want to continue to have a thriving business right here on this main street and keep our residents safe’ and that’s really critical. “

The funding of $36,800 received from the province’s fund will allow the Town to determine the extent and magnitude of the impacts, so it can sell the property and recover the unpaid tax losses and other expenses already incurred. The Town is looking forward to getting the site cleaned up, since there is great potential for future development at that location.

To learn more about the Impacted Sites Fund, visit Impacted Sites Fund | Hazardous Materials and Safe Waste Management | Government of Saskatchewan at