Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Town hall meeting my views
In response to several comments on my previous post (10:12 and 12:45).
With that post I attempted to let my readers know what happened at the meeting.
No I did not provide my opinion on the likely hood of these announcements being successful.
So here goes; first of all I will state I hope every one of them comes true because I believe every one of them would be good for the Pass. Some to greater degrees than others but all good for the growth of this community.
1/Economic Development Committee and Economic Development Officer.
First of all the committee it will be very interesting to see the make up of this committee, it needs to be a mixture of different types of expertise. With a combination of both old and new blood, if the committee does not have that mixture it will start with a lack of credibility. There is already a perception of "outsiders" ramming change down the throats of the locals.
The Economic Development Officer this community only needs one if he/she is going to actually bring something here, yes we are talking results which can only be ensured by having somebody on a short term contract that is looking to impress quickly. If they use this community as a stepping stone who cares as long as we get the benefit while they are here. Do not for a minute think that we are going to get somebody cheap it will cost us a minimum of $100-150K a year to get anybody decent.
Wouldn't it be great to see something happen on that site. But seriously I think we would be lucky to get 10-12 units at the east end in the next two years. (Proximity to water/sewer) Do I think anybody is going to spend $10-15 million doing all the infrastructure on that site in these economic times? good luck.
3/Gaining tax base from MD of Ranchlands.
This is a political issue the only way this will happen is if municipal affairs decides it should. There are not many great examples in the province of poor municipalities gobbling up wealthy municipalities. Keep in mind this is not a problem unique to the Crowsnest Pass, Cold lake as fought this fight for years, and at least they had the argument that they were providing services and facilities to the surrounding areas. How many of those 80 residents of the MD of Ranchland do you think count on the Crowsnest Pass for services or facilities. Maybe the present Mayor can carry more influence in Edmonton than the previous Mayor time will tell. This really will come down to a political decision, does anybody think that the Town of Pincher Creek with its struggles will not be casting it eyes to the MD of Pincher Creek, think of all the money that Shell plant and Windmills bring in.
4/Crowsnest Centre Demolition and Development
Wow the building gone by first snow fall? I was told today that it's a 4-5 month job considering the asbestos that needs to be taken out of there, realistically it will not be done in winter months I think we will see it gone next year. Today I requested a breakdown of the bidders and their quotes on that job I would be very surprised if the majority of the bids came in, below or at $600,000 and I will be surprised if there was more than 3 or 4 bidders that place is going to be like a pandora's box when they open it up.
The hotel before we get too excited keep in mind that council only passed a motion last week (June 18) to "begin" negotiations with the developer. That will not happen over night if the developer is going to demolish the building that cost will be brought into the selling price of the property, the Mayor stated last week that the hotel sounds like a "Best Western" well keep in mind that there is one going into Sparwood right now and the District of Sparwood is offering tax breaks to new businesses. That will be a topic of discussion during these negotiations, don't kid yourself does anybody think this community is bargaining from a position of strength with this developer. Off site levies they were only put on hold for the rest of this year, they will also be a topic of discussion. Time frames, the developer is going to want to have the flexibility to take as long as possible to fill that property the municipality is going to want it filled up as quickly as possible.
The other question that nobody as asked, will this hotel have an impact on the rebuilding of the BCMI in Blairmore? I hope not, I would hate to see us lose a 50 room hotel to gain a 75 room hotel.
Yes I believe there will be a hotel on that property one day, it is a prime location with a lot of traffic going by every day of the year. I do not think it will happen as fast as people are hoping.
Just to add to my early comments I hope every one of these announcements comes true very quickly. My dream for 2013 is to see an Economic Development Officer bringing many small businesses to town, to be able to drive by River Run and see it developed has fast as Iron Stone. To receive my tax notice in April with a decrease due to gaining a decent chunk of tax base from the MD of Ranchlands. And finally to drive by the former Centre Site to look at the new hotel going up. That would be a great year for the Crowsnest Pass.