Premier Ed Stelmach announced Feb. 17 the province in 2012 will start building the police college in Fort Macleod.
The Town of Fort Macleod economic development officer’s phone started ringing soon after.
“We’re starting to get call already,” development officer Martin Ebel said.
The calls are from businesses interested in bidding for contracts during the construction of the police college.
Other entrepreneurs are calling about business opportunities such as hotels.
“That’s good news,” Ebel said. “Businesses are responding.” McTighe said Thursday. “Then we’ll be happier.”
Stelmach told the audience at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall the police college would be part of both the Throne Speech and the 2011 provincial budget.
The following week both those things happened, with $20-million budgeted in 2011-’12, $50-million the following year and $47-million in the third year.
Ebel told Chamber members when the phone started ringing with business owners wanting to bid on contracts he began compiling a folder of interested companies.
“I would love to see everybody who has something to contribute get involved,” Ebel said.
Ebel will forward the list of interested businesses to the officer of Solicitor General Frank Oberle.
“Hopefully the solicitor general will factor that in,” Ebel said.
Ebel also told Chamber members he had met the previous day with someone interested in building a new hotel in Fort Macleod.
Ebel said the Town of Fort Macleod is preparing to respond to the opportunities created by the renewed promise of the police college, which was first announced in 2006.
“One of the things the town has to do is push the services out there,” Ebel said.
Sewer, water and electrical services are needed for the new highway commercial property in the southeast corner of Fort Macleod as well as the police college.
Development of those commercial lots along Phase 1 of the Highway 3 realignment is essential.
“The Town of Fort Macleod has no commercial lots available,” said Ebel, noting there are privately-owned lots available for development.
The police college announcement has created renewed interest in investment in Fort Macleod.
“There are people, I think, ready to put shovels in the ground,” Ebel said.