IN THE NEWS
By Marianne Cole
1. Clearwater Broadband Foundation
The Clearwater Broadband Foundation continues to work diligently to present their vision for improved broadband/internet service within the county. They have made presentations to both the town and county councils and will be attending the May meeting of the CCTA on May 11, 2017 to describe their plans. In short, they are proposing a combination of fibre optic cable and towers to bring high quality service to county residents. According to information they have gathered, combining fibre optics with towers is a much more sustainable, efficient method of service than can be provided by towers alone. We really want to encourage everyone to attend this information session, and especially welcome the younger generation. They are the ones that will be most impacted by the service (or lack of it) in the future. As a bit of further enticement, we are offering two $75.00 gift certificates to The Source as door prizes.
2. Rocky Ag. Rec. Facility
The Rocky Ag. Society has been working hard to promote the building of an Ag. Rec. Facility on the county’s newly purchased land north of Rocky. Phase 1 would provide an indoor riding arena, lobby space, meeting room, wash racks, temporary indoor stabling (box stalls), administration offices, storage, and a concession area. The estimated cost of these “indoor spaces” (as per the feasibility study conducted by RC Strategies in 2015) would be $9, 283, 750. Phase 2 would include additional spectator seating, more box stalls, 1000 seating banquet hall, commercial kitchen, and more office space. The cost of the “indoor spaces” for Phase 2 would be $7, 527, 500. In addition to these indoor costs there would be outdoor costs to develop parking areas for vehicles and trailers.
The Rocky Ag. Society recently held three public meetings to promote their vision and urge community involvement. Attendance was marginal with only 15-20 people at each one. Highlights of the meetings were:
* At the meeting on Wednesday, April 19 a question was asked if this facility was necessary given that there are several private arenas that are available for rent in our area and perhaps we should be supporting them . (Note: In the feasibility study it listed 8 public indoor facilities within approximately 150 km. of Rocky---Thorsby, Rimbey, Ponoka, Stettler, etc.. No numbers were given in the study for privately owned facilities but “our” count is that there are 7 indoor
riding arenas within Clearwater County. Perhaps the Rocky Ag. Society could buy one of these if they want their own facility.)
* At the meeting on Wednesday, April 26 a guest from the Rimbey Ag. Society provided excellent information from their experience with building/operating a new indoor facility. He brought forward concerns relating to ownership of the land for this proposed building, the operation/managerial format, and how these issues could affect liability, permitting, and the accessability of grant funding.
3. Condor/Leslieville Fire Hall Plans
Discussion/planning continues with regards to the amalgamated facility for the Condor/Leslieville fire departments. At the April 11 county council meeting it was noted that PIVOTAL Project has been hired to fulfill the project management role (no cost for service given). They, in turn, have hired BR2 Architects to do the design work at a cost of $291, 165. The proposed land purchase price is $403, 992 and the building cost is approximately $2.1 million for a total of $2, 795, 157.
An alternate plan has, however, recently been suggested--- one which would keep the firehalls in their respective communities at a significantly reduced price.
As the Condor facility is in greater need of replacing, this “new” plan suggests that construction be done there first---on donated land. Information has been gathered to suggest a viable facility could be built there for $700,000 - $800,000. Because architectural fees are calculated according to building costs (normally @10%) those fees could be reduced as well. Building on donated land would eliminate the land cost. Ultimately you could have a new fire hall in Condor for less than half the cost of an amalgamated facility.
Another benefit of this second suggestion is that travel time to the various incidents could be potentially reduced by operating out of the two facilities. Furthermore, when necessary, a new facility could be built in Leslieville with money saved on the first go-round. In the meantime, money would be spent more efficiently and both communities get to keep their own fire departments.
May 11, 2017 , regular monthly meeting
June 15, 2017, regular monthly meeting
September 14, 2017
(All meetings at 7:30PM at Leslieville Elks’ Hall)