Alberta Infrastructure Minister Jack Hayden told council the police college remains a priority.
Hayden responded recently to a letter from Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience urging the province to move ahead with the college.
“The Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre will continue to be among the priorities for consideration among the many requests for new capital spending as the government responds to the new economic climate,” Hayden wrote.
Fort Macleod council last month delivered letters to Alberta cabinet ministers urging the government to support the police college. The mayor and five of the six councillors travelled to Edmonton to meet with Solicitor General Fred Lindsay and deliver letters to offices in the Legislature.
“This is to date the first and only response to our hand-delivered letters,” Patience noted at the April 27 council meeting. In the letter council indicated the economic downturn likely made it the right time to take advantage of lower costs to build the college, the price tag of which had climbed to more than $200-million from the $100-million estimate when the project was announced in 2006. “As you suggest in your letter, the economic downturn presents an opportunity for the government of Alberta to invest in infrastructure and promote job creation opportunities,” Hayden wrote. “The economic downturn also challenges the government to be prudent in setting budget priorities.”
Hayden in his letter confirmed the police college had potential to boost public safety by standardizing training across Alberta.
Hayden told council his department and the solicitor general’s office are reviewing the project’s scope to determine how police training program could be maintained and improved at a new facility in Fort Macleod.
“At the same time, we are exploring project implementation options including shared-use alternatives, financial and economic models and property management strategies which have been successfully implemented in other public-private partnerships,” Hayden added.