Innisfail building big

What recession? Officials in Innisfail’s planning department might be asking this question as plans for a pair of multimillion-dollar projects move across their desks.

What recession?

Officials in Innisfail’s planning department might be asking this question as plans for a pair of multimillion-dollar projects move across their desks.

The most recent is a Home and Agro Centre proposed by Central Alberta Co-op Ltd. Valued at approximately $6.4 million, the 32,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed by year-end.

Last week, approximately $6 million was announced for Innisfail’s proposed new library and civic centre under the Canada-Alberta Building Canada Fund.

Dale Mather, the town’s chief administrative officer, said that money is allowing the nearly $9-million facility to move forward.

“That project will be proceeding here as soon as we have the tendered documents ready,” he said.

A news release issued on Thursday by Central Alberta Co-op said its new Home and Agro Centre will house the Co-op’s agro products, petroleum operations, and home and garden centre. It will be more than double the size of the two buildings where the Co-op’s agro products and home centre departments currently operate.

Construction is expected to begin in early July.

“It is very good news for Innisfail,” Mather said of the Home and Agro Centre project

“Any large project like that is of benefit to the town, both in the construction phase and once it’s completed.

“These projects do create jobs and they do create opportunities for people.”

Mather said Innisfail has earned a reputation as an attractive community in which to live, and these types of developments reinforce that image.

Despite the economic slowdown, he added, the town has enjoyed a “quite good” year on the building permit front.

“I think these projects definitely do send a message that things are happening.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com