The Town of Fort Macleod will spend $25,000 to help a company explore options to build the police college.
Council voted Aug. 9 following a closed session to work with the St. Albert-based Commonwealth Corporate Support Services Group Canada Ltd.
“Commonwealth is a group we’re working with,” Mayor Shawn Patience confirmed Monday. “It is a group that specializes in development of P3s.”
A private-public partnership is the provincial government’s preferred way of building the Alberta Peace and Police Officer Training Centre in Fort Macleod.
Patience was tight-lipped about the arrangement with Commonwealth, only saying there are some options to be considered.
“We don’t want releasing the details to impact how this works,” Patience said. “Exposing the process could have a very negative impact on the process. Shortly we’ll be able to reveal the details.”
According to the company’s Web site, Commonwealth Corporate Support Services Group Canada Ltd. is registered in Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. to assist governments, societies, not-for-profit groups, school boards and not-for-profit co-operatives design, build, finance, operate and maintain infrastructure projects such as the police college. Commonwealth is involved in 30 projects. Patience and Town of Fort Macleod municipal manager Barry Elliott have met recently with project stakeholders.
Patience is optimistic some good news about the police college will be forthcoming soon from Edmonton.
“It is our expectation we’ll hear something is coming from the province with respect to moving this project forward,” Patience said.
In August 2006 the province said it planned to build a $110-million facility in Fort Macleod where 1,400 recruits would be trained each year. Four years later the sod still has not been turned as the government struggles to find a way to fund the project.
The project is stalled because the government can’t find a private partner to build the facility in the southeast corner of Fort Fort Macleod made a huge investment in winning the bid for the college over 30 other Alberta communities and providing a 320-acre site in southeast Fort Macleod where the college is to be built. Construction of the college was to begin 18 months following the announcement in August 2006.
Solicitor General Frank Oberle came to Fort Macleod in March to confirm his support for the project, and to promise he would work to move it forward.
Patience and his council have received similar endorsements this summer from Premier Ed Stelmach and Livingstone-Macleod MLA Evan Berger.
“I’m looking for something more definite,” Patience said of a pending announcement from Edmonton.