Lacombe County doesn’t share the City of Lacombe’s opposition to a proposed provincial rest stop on Highway 2.
The province said in March it planned to build a commercial safety rest area on the west side of the highway, just north of Lacombe, to serve the 14,000 vehicles passing by daily.
A gas station and other commercial opportunities are planned on the site that was the location of the Wolf Creek Inn and CheeseToast Family Restaurant until they closed in 2010. They followed the Juniper Lodge, which was opened in 1962.
The site was questioned by City of Lacombe planners, who pointed out the proposed rest stop is not within a designated future growth area, nor is it located within a joint economic area, where the city and Lacombe County have an agreement to share taxes generated by new development.
A provincial rest stop at that location would also put it in competition with private developers behind the new Midway Centre development, a major commercial and industrial project slated near the Highway 2 and Highway 12 interchange.
The City of Lacombe and the local chamber of commerce are sending a letter to Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr highlighting their concerns about the province’s plans.
As part of that lobbying effort, Lacombe County was asked to sign the letter. However, county council does not share its neighbour’s opposition to the rest stop, said Reeve Paula Law.
The county believes the rest stop would be a useful and convenient amenity for drivers — especially for those heading south.
“It’s a great spot for it. They have the land,” said Law.
“We’re fully in support of the province or Alberta Transportation putting one in there.
“We also support if the developer or the city wishes to have one on their development they’re doing on the east side of the highway,” she said, adding it would be a handy spot for northbound drivers to take a break.
“It’s mostly for the safety of the traffic. We’d like to see (rest stops) on both sides. That would be great.”
The county plans to send a letter to the city explaining its position and why it would not sign the letter opposing the province’s rest stop plans.