The City of Red Deer is partnering with the province to try to expedite the construction of the local addictions treatment centre.
City councillors on Monday gave unanimous approval to a number of measures that will see the 10-acre site chosen in the Chiles Industrial Park gain water servicing quicker than it was slated to.
“We didn’t want to lose time because of servicing. We wanted to get (pipes) into the ground,” so construction of the centre could begin before next spring, said Mayor Tara Veer.
The 75-bed facility is supposed to be operational by the second quarter of 2022.
Veer said the municipal land was sold to the province for $1 as it was an under-utilized property.
“It is rare… to have a municipality partnering on a provincial project to this magnitude,” she added, but the national drug addiction crisis is producing some dire social and health challenges locally.
Red Deer city council has long been advocating for a local addictions treatment centre, so did not want to delay its opening, she added — nor delay the start of the local drug court.
This week, council approved $1.5 million to be funded from the city’s off-site levy program for water trunk servicing for the site.
Council agreed to provide monetary support to the “Red Deer Therapeutic Community” project in the amount of 50 per cent of the off-site levy fees to be funded from the Operating Reserves Tax Supported with the other half to be paid by the province.
Also, approved was staff support and $50,000 for landscaping the site — to be funded through already approved operating dollars.
Veer said there is already some natural “visual screening” on one side of the property, but new landscaping is needed on the north and west sides of the site to provide privacy to treatment centre clients.