Fort Macleod reminded the solicitor general the town is waiting anxiously for the start of construction of the police college. Council members met in Edmonton with Solicitor General Fred Lindsay.
“We expressed very strongly to the solicitor general that while we weren’t being impatient, we were getting very anxious,” Mayor Shawn Patience said.
The province announced in August 2006 the Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre will be built in Fort Macleod.
Fort Macleod officials had anticipated work would have commenced by now on the site in the southeast corner of town.
“We need to get the shovels in the ground,” Patience said.
The police college was predicted in 2006 to cost $110-million, but the price tag has since risen to a reported $260-million.
The province has not yet decided which company will build the college through a private-public partnership. The list of nine applicants has been whittled to two.
“Certainly Mr. Lindsay is still very supportive of the project,” Patience said.
The government wants to build the college to train 1,400 police and peace officer recruits each year.
The college will also serve as a centre of excellence for policing, where police and peace officers from around the world would come for professional development.
“Certainly the need for the police college has not diminished whatsoever,” Patience said.
Fort Macleod rallied a tremendous community effort in 2005 and 2006 to convince government officials the police college should be built here. The Town of Fort Macleod offered an ambitious package that included free land and utility services for the site.
Patience reiterated to Lindsay the community’s continued support for the police college.
“We told him if there was anything we needed to do we were certainly prepared to do that,” Patience said.
The mayor came away from the meeting with Lindsay in Edmonton at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention optimistic good news will be forthcoming.
“Mr. Lindsay suggested he would like to have he whole decision-making process done before the province goes into its budget in February,” Patience said.