City moving ahead with Phase 2 of industrial park
Lacombe has moved to ease a shortage of industrial land and to find a new home for its public works yard.
City council passed a resolution this week to adopt a business plan for the second phase of the Len Thompson Industrial Park on the city’s east side.
The plan calls on the city to spend $5.8 million to develop and service the industrial park, which includes 10 acres for the public works yards and 15 acres divided into 14 industrial lots.
It is expected that the first lots will be ready for marketing later this year.
As the industrial lots sell, the city will recoup $4 million. The other $1.8 million is the investment in the public works facility.
It’s difficult to speculate how quickly the lots will sell but there has already been interest from buyers, said city chief administrative officer Norma MacQuarrie.
Council’s decision did not sit well with one businessman, Dane Skinner, owner of N.E.X.T. Legacies Technologies, who criticized council on Monday for rejecting his offers to buy the land, which he claimed would have been a better financial deal.
MacQuarrie said she couldn’t discuss the private offer, which was reviewed and assessed by council in camera.
But she could say council’s decision was dictated by the need to find a better public works location and to ensure there were serviced industrial lots available for resale this year.
“The rationale for that was we have sold our last serviced industrial lot. We wanted to ensure there’s opportunity for local expansion,” she said, adding they also want to have the lots available to attract outside businesses to the community.
MacQuarrie said the decision is in line with council’s strategic plan, which calls for a sufficient inventory of properly zoned land to support future development.
Blaine Dushanek, of the Lacombe Taxpayers’ Association, believes council made the wrong decision.
The city stood to make $1 million in profit by selling the land to N.E.X.T. Technologies, he said.
Land for industrial lots and public works yards could have been found elsewhere, he added.