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Lac La Biche likes its chances

The Alberta Peace and Police Officer College belongs on the shore of Lac La Biche, according to the people of that community.
Lac La Biche, one of four finalists for the $100-million project, is offering the province two free quarter sections on the lake.
“It’s just beautiful. You can see the whole lake, and there is a beach right there,” Lac La Biche Mayor Tom Lett said. “It’s a valuable piece of property.”
The Town of Lac La Biche partnered with Portage College, Lakeland County and the regional economic development commission to prepare the bid.
The partners hired a private consultant to prepare the bid, which to date has cost about $50,000.
“Our approach was to go all out,” Lett said Friday in a telephone interview.
The site is in Lakeland County about six miles outside of the town, adjacent to a gun range and close to an airport with a 6,500-foot runway.
The site is removed from the urban area, eliminating any potential conflict with neighbours, a point Lett said is in Lac La Biche’s favour.
Water, sewer and infrastructure services are already present at the site.
Lac La Biche is 220 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, 148 kilometres west of Cold Lake, and 291 kilometres south of Fort McMurray.
One of Alberta’s oldest communities, Lac La Biche has a population of about 2,700, and serves another 10,000 people in its trading area.
The district takes in the Beaver Lake and Heart Lake First Nations, the Metis settlement of Kikino and other communities such as Plamandon.
“The Aboriginal communities have given us their support, and I think all the northern mayors are behind us too,” Lett said.
Forestry, natural gas, agriculture, government services, education, small business and tourism drive the local economy. Lac La Biche is the center of the region’s oil and gas operations. The police college will have a major impact on Lac La Biche, similar to that of Portage College. Established in 1967, the college is now the town’s largest employer.
Portage College offers instruction in business, university studies, human services, health and wellness, native arts and culture, trades and technical, and learning and employment foundations.
The college has an enrollment of about 1,000 full-time equivalent students.
“We think (the police college) is a good fit with the college we already have,” Lett said.
Lett said Lac La Biche residents are excited their town is among the final four and were busy last week preparing for the MLA committee’s visit.
“Most of them think we have a good chance,” Lett said. “If we don’t get it, I hope Fort Macleod does.”

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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

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