Amenities promised in Battle River project

Ponoka residents could see some new amenities along the Battle River in the future, if a developer is given the go-ahead.

Ponoka residents could see some new amenities along the Battle River in the future, if a developer is given the go-ahead.

Vance Walker, who purchased the land east of the river and north of 50th Avenue 18 years ago, met with councillors on March 13 to present a concept plan that includes a subdivision on a 50-acre lot, professional and seniors homes, both on the east side of the river, and a new 50th Street bridge.

Walker previously donated a portion of the land making up the trails built along the bank of the river in 2000.

Walker’s plans are based around the Avi Friedman report — a document that plans for the development of the town. It was commissioned by town councillors in 2007.

“Council was very receptive and appreciate of Mr. Walker and his futuristic ideas,” chief administrative officer Brad Watson said.

“We are very pleased that he has undertaken to fit within the Avi Friedman report.”

Watson wouldn’t quite say if Walker’s plan is needed in the town, only that it is “welcomed.”

“He spent an hour with the council and that is unheard of in delegations.

“Delegations get 10 minutes so that is the quality of the development that the plan is,” Watson said.

While council was “receptive” of Walker’s development plans, some of it is in the Battle River flood plain and would require raised development, Watson said.

The town also doesn’t see Walker’s development moving forward this year.

“We have to pace ourselves with our development and the dollars available,” Watson said.

“At the moment we have looked at upgrading existing facilities.

“A new splash park is going into the community, that the Lions Club raised approximately $500,000 for, and our obligation is to put utilities into this, so to drop everything and go to another development concept at this point is not realistic for 2012.”

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com