City eager to acquire land on north end of Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is vying for land on the north end where a main thoroughfare, sewer infrastructure and parkland will be situated.

The City of Red Deer is vying for land on the north end where a main thoroughfare, sewer infrastructure and parkland will be situated.

But these plans to add into the Waskasoo park system and the construction of Northland Drive will take more than the determination of civic bureaucrats and politicians.

On Monday, city council supported expropriation proceedings to take over land from property owners so that these plans can get moving.

But as City of Red Deer solicitor Nick Riebeek noted, the city remains “open to negotiations and discussions.” One stumbling block is how much land is worth.

A staff report says there are “significantly differing opinions in the amount of compensation” required to buy the road and parkland from some landowners.

“Our hope is we can reach (an agreement) without expropriation,” said Councillor Tara Veer.

The land involves about 58 acres for the road, 13 acres for a stormwater detention pond and 64 acres for parks and natural areas.

Northland Drive will be built as a north-south route that extends from Hwy 11A, crosses the river and links up with 30th Avenue — and eventually 20th Avenue, which is in the city’s 10-year road construction plan.

The road work represents only the first phase of an ambitious 30-year plan to build a ring road expressway on the east side of the city at 20th Avenue, linking Hwys 11 and 11A to Delburne Road and Hwy 2.

The staff report also indicates strong community support to preserve lands along the river and thereby protect wildlife corridors and prevent river pollution or contamination.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling said acquiring land is particularly important now because of another project, the South Red Deer Regional Wastewater line.

That line will serve Bowden, Innisfail, Penhold, Red Deer County, Mountain View County and Bowden Institution.

Building along the road right of way will help limit impact on land and lessen environmental impacts, plus reduce construction costs.

Underground services are also required to supply sanitary and storm facilities to the Greater East Hill Area. Again, these services will use the Northland Drive alignment to send sewage to the city’s wastewater treatment plant and stormwater to the Red Deer River. As part of that project, a stormwater detention pond will be required to contain water from drainage of both Northland Drive and 20th Avenue.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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