Back on June 15 the first Mayor's corner came out, this was the one where the Mayor began to reach out to the community and the people that don't agree with everything he says. He felt the need to direct his comments at the "barber shop quartet" "coffee time guys and gals" "local papers" and for good luck he threw in "local blogs" and the "numerous letters to the editors".
He concluded his Mayor's corner by stating "if we miss anything please call myself, the Councillors, or our Administration for the unvarnished facts and truths"
The hotel issue has been awfully quite especially after the municipality went to the effort of placing the letter from "the Penrose group of companies" stating that Best Western would make a decision by June 17.
I have spent the last couple of days talking to some of my fellow citizens about the hotel and maybe our expectations were to high, what gave people these high expectations. Well I though long and hard and decided maybe I should look for the "unvarnished facts and truth" on this issue. What a better place to find the facts and truths than the Mayor's corner and the CAO reports in the municipal newsletter.
Aug 15, 2012 the Mayor states "During the next fifteen months my goals are specifically: to bring our hotel development to fruition"
Sept 14, 2012 the Mayor states "Administration is actively negotiating the new hotel development"
Oct 17, 2012 CAO's report states " Negotiations on the sale and development of the former Crowsnest Centre site and construction is proceeding. Administration and the developer have reached agreement on a number of conditions with a few remaining"
Oct 17, 2012 the Mayor states "I am pleased to announce that after months (and months) of work we have as promised, resolved the problem surrounding the Crowsnest Learning Centre and "old" hospital facility. The new hotel restaurant truck stop complex -is a go! The last few legal details are being ironed out and early next month we and the developers are looking forward to holding a public session to gather your input as to what you would like to see happen"
Oct 17,2012 Letter from the Mayor to Allison Redford "As such we now have a new hotel, restaurant and truck stop development which will begin in the spring of 2013"
Nov 19, 2012 CAO report states " Administration and the developer for the former Crowsnest Centre site development continue to solve and complete development issues and anticipate that all remaining issues will be resolved within the next 30 days"
Nov 19,2012 the Mayor states "We are in the process of determining an open house date for our hotel development team to gather input from yourselves regarding the development. I suspect it will be in February. Contrary to rumor no "flag" hotel has yet been determined.
Dec 18,2012 CAO report states " Administration and the developer for the former Crowsnest Centre site development have had several discussions over the last few weeks. The majority of sale and development conditions have been satisfied for both parties with the finalization of agreement to be expected by month end. A new Hotel developer is partnering with the main developer and we are expecting the development process to start moving forward very quickly"
Dec 18,2012 The Mayor states "The hotel/restaurant/truck stop legalities have made significant progress and are drawing to a close and we are planning a public session in February. Initially it was predicted that they would not begin demolition until next spring but apparently they are planning to start much earlier. I am told they are close to selecting a "flag" hotel chain"
Jan 23,2013 CAO report states "A formal announcement is anticipated this week concerning the development on the former Crowsnest Centre site"
Jan 23,2013 the Mayor states "In February our hotel developers will be here for a public open house and to provide us with an opportunity to have input and ask any questions we may have. I am pressing for an early start for the deconstruction and new construction to begin"
Feb 19,2013 CAO states "Medican group and Group/Vachon hosted an open house on Tuesday Feb 12,2013 at the Elks Hall. The open house provided an opportunity for the developers to present their plans for development of the 2.5 ha. former hospital site. Architectural and engineering firms involved with the project were also on hand to discuss specifics related to the project and had conceptual drawings on hand for public's review.
Feb 19,2013 CAO report also states "sale and construction agreement was made official on Feb 4" "A soon to be named 60 to 75 room international hotel with amenities including pool and hot tub, breakfast area, and meeting space will be the primary development with other development plans including a franchise restaurant and other complimenting developments" "The purchase price of the land is in the amount of $1.1 million dollars which is made up of cash and the value of the demolition. The agreement further requires the demolition to be completed by late summer, with the foundation work to be completed by late fall. The hotel construction is required to be completed within 2 years of the signing of the agreement which means hotel opening by early 2015". "This area will be developed into park space with funding from Medican"
March 15,2013 CAO report states "The development agreement process has begun for the former Crowsnest Centre site"
March 15,2013 Mayor states "As you saw, heard, and discussed at the presentations and open house the hotel development is on its way"
April 19,2013 we are met with silence regarding this issue.
May15,2013 CAO states "The municipality has provided an extension to Medican to May 31,2013 for completion of final site engineering and site design, obtaining a development permit, securing an agreement for the hotel chain, Council approval for waiver of off-site levies, and negotiation and execution of a development agreement. This extension is needed as the application submission to Best Western Board of Directors was deferred to the week of May 13,2013 for consideration"
May 15,2013 The Mayor states "Last week I kept my promise and announced on the radio, as soon as I knew, that our new hotel will be a Best western. Final approval should be given between the 13th to 18th of this month. If it is not approved by the Best Western Board of Governors we will move to the Holiday Inn group. Regardless things are on time and we should see demolition activity late this summer"
June 17,2013 we are met again with silence regarding this issue.
Finally again we have the letter from the Penrose Group of companies available on the Municipality web site http://www.crowsnestpass.com/ under Press Releases and Announcements titled Crowsnest Centre Development.
Over the next few months leading up to the election I will publish several more of these "unvarnished facts and truths". To avoid any errors or miss truths I will attempt where ever possible to only use the facts available in the municipal newsletter.
Note: Cost of administration $4325 per day