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Province gives Fort Macleod $10.26-million for police college costs

shawn patience

Fort Macleod Mayor at the site of the $122-million Alberta Public Security and Law Enforcement Training Centre in August after the Redford government unexpectedly cancelled the project

The Town of Fort Macleod will not be on the hook for costs related to the cancelled police college.
Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths said Thursday the town will get $10.26-million in compensation from the province.
“We’re dealing with a situation where a commitment was made eight years ago now and a lot of people were very excited about it,” Griffiths said. “The community and council members and the mayor have put a lot of heart and soul toward this project. I know it was a disappointment.”
When Calgary and Edmonton police forces announced in August they would not train recruits in Fort Macleod, the Redford government cancelled the $122-million Alberta Public Security and Law Enforcement Training Centre project.
Griffiths said the decision to build the police college in Fort Macleod was made by a different administration, and circumstances have changed.
“That doesn’t mean the government isn’t obliged to live up to its commitments,” said Griffiths, who spoke to reporters by speaker phone.
Griffiths flew to Fort Macleod for the news conference, but his plane could not land in town or at Lethbridge due to heavy snow.
The province will compensate the Town of Fort Macleod for contract commitments, including $4.54-million for water and sewer; $454,950 for engineering for water and sewer; $341,000 for electrical service; $26,185 for electrical engineering; $63,200 for easement acquisition; $4,200 for highway crossing agreements; $600 for surveys; and $10,097 for miscellaneous costs.
“We have given assurances to the council now we are going to fully live up to those contractual commitments,” Griffiths said. “That’s obvious. Everybody should know we were going to do that.”
The province will also give the Town of Fort Macleod $4.18-million for costs associated with the waste water treatment plant built in part to support the police college project.
“We’re going to potentially pay for those investments that they made, which I think is the fair thing to do,” Griffiths said.
The town also gets $102,343 to cover out of pocket expenses incurred since 2005.
Griffiths said during a news conference at the Fort Macleod town office the money should be delivered by mid-February.
The town also gets back the 320 acres it gave the province as part of its bid to have the police college built in Fort Macleod.
“I know that people thought that this was a pretty dark cloud, but there is a silver lining in every dark cloud and this is it,” Griffiths said. “We have serviced land ready to go and the community has the opportunity to attract other industries, other investments.”
Griffiths noted Alberta’s population is expected to grow by a million people in the next 10 years and Fort Macleod is in position to capitalize on that growth.
“The community is sitting on the cusp of fantastic opportunities with some great infrastructure,” Griffiths said.
Griffiths said with 320 acres of serviced land available, and a waste water treatment plant built to serve a population of up to 6,000, Fort Macleod is on solid footing.
“There’s a chance for Fort Macleod and the area to attract new industries and new businesses, which is going to give them a world of opportunity,” Griffiths said. “I know that this council and the community are going to capitalize on that opportunity.”
Mayor Shawn Patience said Fort Macleod would prefer to have the police college, which would have created 75 to 100 jobs and brought 1,350 police and peace officer recruits to town each year.
“Our municipality will not be financially burdened by the cancellation of this project,” Patience said. “That was our first and main goal.”
Patience said by paying the costs racked up by the Town of Fort Macleod, the province is providing the community with some positive opportunities.
Patience said the compensation offered by the province does not offset the dramatic loss of the police college and its economic development potential, but it does help Fort Macleod.
“That will leave us some new and very different opportunities,” Patience said. “It certainly would be our goal to utilize that opportunity and take advantage of it.”
Patience told reporters the goal of pursuing the police college project was to promote growth and economic stability for Fort Macleod.
Patience said the deal announced on Thursday puts Fort Macleod in position to pursue other opportunities for growth and prosperity.
“I think we have to look at this, put it in our rear view mirror, and start moving forward,” Patience said.

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Index of Police College Stories - Listed by release date in Gazette

Apr 24 - Fort Macleod town council is planning for the future

Jan 10 - Province gives Fort Macleod $10.26-million for police college costs

Sep 11 - Wildrose Party will fight for Fort Macleod

Sep 04 - Fort Macleod residents devastated by decision to scrap police college

Sep 04 - Fort Macleod asks premier to reverse college decision

Sep 03 - Fort Macleod calls on premier to reverse police college decision

Aug 29 - Residents of Fort Macleod punished for voting Wildrose

Aug 29 - Wildrose says Fort Macleod victim of Tory fiscal incompetence

Aug 29 - Government cancels funding for police training college

Aug 28 - Council awards police college permit

Aug 01 - Police training facility will be unique in Canada

Nov 01 - Province approves grant for police college infrastructure

Oct 19 - Target schedule is set to build police college

Sep 27 - Stakeholders convene to discuss police college

Aug 24 - Police college sod-turning ‘a great day for Fort Macleod’

Aug 16 - Police college sod-turning Mon. Aug. 22

Jul 26 - Fort Macleod puts more cash toward college

May 17 - Province moving ahead with police college plans

May 03 - Council okays transfer of police college land

Apr 05 - Police college site work could start in summer

Dec 01 - Macleod finds way to build police college

Dec 01 - Macleod pitches co-op to build police college

Nov 30 - Macleod feels positive about police college

Aug 25 - Police college partner possible

Aug 18 - Council works on own plan for police college

Jul 07 - Calgary project no threat to police college

Jun 09 - Mayor pushes solicitor general for collect action

Mar 31 - Macleod’s neighbours support police college

Mar 31 - Mayor says government just has to make college a priority

Dec 30 - MD council writes to support police college

Dec 02 - Southern Alberta backs police college

Nov 25 - Regional group lobbies for police college

Sep 23 - Police college has not been shelved — yet

Jul 29 - Mayor: ‘Police college project not cancelled’

May 06 - Infrastructure minister says college a priority

Apr 22 - Facebook page supports police college

Apr 01 - Council lobbies for progress on police college

Feb 18 - Solicitor General urges police college patience

Nov 04 - Police college discussed during Question Period

Nov 04 - Macleod mayor confident police college is coming

Oct 21 - Fort Macleod ‘anxious’ for police college start

Apr 16 - Province gets nine police college proposals

Mar 12 - Macleod can do business with police college

Sep 05 - Province reviews police college P3 proposals

Jun 26 - Police college Web site created

Jun 06 - Police college project is on track

May 30 - Police college officials visit Fort Macleod

May 23 - Police college headlines open house

Mar 28 - Solicitor General: ‘Police college is coming to Macleod’

Jan 31 - Mayor strikes police college committee

Nov 22 - Steering committee meets to discuss police college

Sep 13 - Opportunity knocking for Fort Macleod

Sep 13 - Macleod prepares to guide growth

Sep 13 - Police college is Fort Macleod’s destiny

Sep 13 - Mayor weathers police college criticism

Sep 13 - Fort Macleod celebrates successful college bid

Sep 06 - Fort Macleod lands Alberta police college

Sep 06 - P3 partners sought for police college

Sep 06 - Police training centre will be world-class

Dec 21 - Council designates land for police college

Dec 21 - Macleod’s police college bid in province’s hands

Nov 23 - Task force builds police college bid

Nov 02 - Council still pursuing college