The future of Viterra’s elevator at The Pas remains uncertain.
A meeting to discuss its future, held in the R. M. of Kelsey May 1, was well attended, but Kelsey Reeve Rod Berezowecki said he was disappointed no one from Viterra took part.
“A lot of producers wanted to hear first hand from them (Viterra) what their plans are,” Berezowecki said in an interview May 7.
Viterra has said in a prepared statement that it “is no longer offering closed elevators for sale or lease due to rising costs, safety risks and environmental liability.”
Viterra closed the elevator at The Pas last fall. It tore down its elevator at Arborg last month.
The R. M. of Kelsey meeting looked at the possibility of saving the elevator or replacing it with a producer car-loading facility, Berezowecki said.
“We want to know what the farmers want because there’s no sense chasing something unless somebody wants it,” Berezowecki said.
Since Viterra refuses to sell its closed elevators, expropriating them has been suggested as an option. But Berezowecki said that’s a controversial and costly option for any municipality.
Sinclair Harrison of Hudson Bay Route Association is pessimistic farmers will be able to negotiate with Viterra. The association, founded 66 years ago, wants to maintain the northern route for farmers in The Pas area. If the elevator goes, producer cars could fill much of the void, Harrison said.
That idea will be explored further at a meeting sometime next month. Rob Lobdell, president of West Central Road and Rail, a producer car-loading company based in Eston, Sask., will be one of the speakers, Harrison said. [email protected]