By Cole Parkinson
As southern Albertans start thinking of warmer weather, the Municipal District of Taber is also hoping that spring leads to further development of lots in their hamlets.
While construction was started in Enchant, winter weather shut that down until spring and now council is preparing for further developments in 2023.
In asking about new residential lots in Grassy Lake at council’s regular meeting on Jan. 24, administration explained things are moving in the right direction.
“We have awarded the design for that subdivision and MPE Engineering was the lowest cost. I think our goal or target for tender was April or March for actual construction,” said CAO Arlos Crofts.
“MPE is working on the design right now,” added Corey Greene, infrastructure project manager. “I’ve got them information on all of our pumps and water lines in town. They’ve started to do studies and find out what our flow rates are. I did see a couple of real high-level preliminary sketches of what the subdivision could look like, but I was supposed to have a meeting with them…to finalize all of those options. I already did it so I pushed the meeting until the first part of February. They told me they would hopefully have 75 per cent of the drawings by then.”
While construction is still a ways away, council did inquire about the coming timeline.
“With that timeline, do you anticipate the lots would be sale-ready fall of 2023 or spring of ’24?” asked Deputy Reeve Tamara Miyanaga.
“My plan is to have them for sale fall ’23,” replied Greene.
CAO Arlos Crofts did caution about sticking to that timeline as the weather is unpredictable.
“I’m going to add a qualifier to it just because we learned even in the experience with Enchant, the weather came on us,” he said.
In shifting to the Enchant lots, council also had questions about the timeline for those. With construction to resume this spring, it was asked about when they could potentially be put up for sale.
“The ones in Enchant were about 70 per cent complete and when will those be available?” asked Reeve Merrill Harris.
“Weather permitting, I would say July,” answered Greene.
Continuing with lot development in Enchant, council also inquired about future industrial lots.
“I think I read in here there are no more industrial lots in Enchant,” added Harris.
“We have received deposits on those two remaining lots in Enchant on sale. Sales haven’t been completed but there is an interest,” responded Brian Peers, director of Municipal Lands and Leases.
With the M.D. in lot-building mode, it was asked if more development of industrial lots was coming forward soon.
“Do we need to start planning and looking for more areas for industrial development in all of our hamlets? I know that there are some available in Hays, if I remember correctly. I’m not sure about Grassy Lake, but do we need to start looking at commercial and industrial lots in those hamlets?” asked Harris.
“In Enchant and Grassy, yes we do. Just batting around a few ideas with Corey, but we’re certainly not there yet,” explained Peers.
Flipping back to the Grassy Lake development, council had more questions. First up was an inquiry into how many residential lots were being developed for the hamlet.
“It’s around 50 to 60, depending on how we do it. We’re still dealing with the existing landfill there. Our plan is to go in and clean it up entirely and be able to build the lots right up to the boundary of the existing parcel there. I think that gave us 64,” said Peers.
“The plan is to do construction, build all the lots out in Phase 1,” added Greene.
Administration further explained council still has some work to do before lots are put out for sale.
“New lots that come into the inventory, there will be some policy work that has to be done by council to set prices and to ultimately outline the sales process. That will be something we’re working on simultaneously as well,” said CAO Arlos Crofts.