An Eckville businessman is planning a new industrial park next to the town to ease a shortage of space for area firms looking to set up shop.
Randy Eliuk wants to build 24 light industrial lots on 43 acres he owns just north of the town on Secondary Hwy 766. The lots in the Medicine Valley Industrial Park would be suitable for light manufacturing, welding, warehousing, trucking or other similar types of businesses.
On Thursday, Lacombe County council gave first reading to a bylaw to rezone the property from agriculture to business industrial. A public hearing will be held on Oct. 8 at the county building. Second and third readings could follow.
Eliuk said if all goes well he would like to begin construction on the industrial park this fall. The first lots could be ready by early next summer.
The development is expected to be built in two phases of 12 lots each. The timing of the second phase will depend on market demand.
The businessman, who has a background in trucking for the oilpatch, said he has had a lot of positive feedback from other business people looking for more space.
Allan Williams, the county’s manager of planning services, said the industrial park fits into the intermunicipal development plan adopted by the town and county and which provides a blueprint for future development around the community.
Councillor Ken Wigmore questioned why the industrial park was to be served by wells and septic systems rather than hooking up to the town’s services.
Eliuk said the town has not agreed to extend its services to the property south of his where individual water and sewer services have been proposed. Providing individual services also keeps costs down and makes the project more attractive to potential buyers.
Williams said the town might not be in a position to extend its services in that direction now. A condition of approval could include a deferred services agreement in which Eliuk commits to hooking up to town services when they become available.