Netook moving ahead

OLDS — Mountain View County has taken the next step in the development of a major business and residential subdivision east of Olds.

OLDS — Mountain View County has taken the next step in the development of a major business and residential subdivision east of Olds.

County council last week approved the Netook Crossing North concept plan, which covers some 565 acres west of Hwy 2 and north of Hwy 27.

More than 140 acres along the highways will become Netook Crossing North Business Park, with 38 commercial and industrial lots proposed. Construction there could begin as early as this fall.

Residential development will occur in a subsequent phase, with approximately 430 lots in Netook Crossing Estates to be buffered from the highway by the business park.

Mountain View County Reeve Al Kemmere said the housing will follow an open concept, with large lots, open spaces, a trail system and wetlands preservation.

“They’re trying to keep it very rural in nature,” he said, adding that the area is expected to provide recreational opportunities for people living there as well as residents of Olds.

The developer of the business park and residential area is Neuroese Properties of Calgary.

The concept plan also contemplates a major reconfiguration of the interchange connecting highways 2 and 27, with the province responsible for this work.

“I don’t think we’ve got it pinned down exactly when it’s going to be happening, but it’s in the very near future,” said Kemmere.

Another matter still to be finalized is the provision of water and sewage services.

“We’re working on various initiatives,” said Kemmere, adding that a tie-in to a regional wastewater system using Red Deer’s sewage treatment facilities is a possibility, as is a link to the Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission line.

Until such arrangements have been made, sewage from the business park will go to a holding tank and then be hauled away for treatment. However, the sewer and water line infrastructure will be constructed during development so that it is ready for use, said Kemmere.

“We aren’t not doing any of the residential development until we have access to water and sewer,” he added.

The county previously approved a much broader area structure plan that covers some 4,000 acres. A business park south of Hwy 27, which Kemmere described as a “mirror image” of Netook Crossing North Business Park, is already being developed.

Netook Crossing has tremendous potential, said Kemmere, pointing to its proximity to the cities of Red Deer and Calgary and their airports, and its location along Hwy 2.

“That highway exposure, there’s only so much of it in this province and we might as well develop it accordingly.”

Although the province continues to feel the effects of the recession, he thinks it’s important to plan ahead.

“When the economy recovers, we will have a lot of the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed and this will be ready for access.”

The name Netook was derived from the Blackfoot term “nee-tuck-kis,” which means “lone pine tree.” A landmark pine tree once stood in the area.