AHS LAND - This 10 acres of land in Eckville was originally pegged to be the new Eckville hospital before the original hospital closed in 1995.

AHS LAND - This 10 acres of land in Eckville was originally pegged to be the new Eckville hospital before the original hospital closed in 1995.

Town looking to ensure reserves are spent wisely

The land was originally purchased for a new Eckville Hospital, however the hospital was shut down in 1995.

A tract of land that the Town of Eckville had previously made an offer on in the northwest part of Eckville between 52 Street and 53 Street has been reduced to $140,000 from $200,000.

The land was originally purchased for a new Eckville Hospital, however the hospital was shut down in 1995 and the land has been the property of Alberta Health Services since that time.

“Council did make an initial offer when it was listed for $200,000 which is roughly $20,000 per acre,” Town CAO Jack Ramsden said. “The Town made an offer which was not accepted. This is now the second price adjustment on it.”

Ramsden did not want to reveal the offer the Town made at the time, in case they decide to move forward with another offer, however current Town residential developments has Town and Council not seriously considering that option at this time.

“The Town is already sitting on lots of land for development,” Ramsden explained. “We have started our Westview subdivision, which will be another 50 lots if it goes un-amended 30 manufactured homes and 20 R1 lots. We also have our MacDonald Heights subdivision, which is another sizable piece of property. The Town has a sizable land bank for development.”

Ramsden explained that if a private developer wanted to purchase the land, the Town would be open to working with them.

“The AHS property is zoned R1, which is low density residential single family housing,” he said. “The Town has decent reserve funds, but we want to be careful how we spend those dollars. We may need them for other purposes. It would be great to see a developer go in there with a different concept, but right now for the Town to take cash and convert it into land when we have lots of property doesn’t seem to make sense. That is my recommendation to Council, that we hold off on purchasing.”

Ramsden said that there have been some talks between the Eckville Recreation Board on turning the land into a recreational site, however those discussions remain in infancy.

“At this point, we are not contemplating purchasing it, because we have other developments on the go,” Ramsden said. “Once we have those lots sold, we would be in a position to go with other developments. If there is a private developer out there that has some ideas, I would be more than happy to sit down with them and go through it with them.”

He added that “it is not a lack of confidence, it is just ensuring we are using our resources as wisely as we can.”

todd.vaughan@sylvanlakenews.com