CANMORE – The Town of Canmore is moving forward with plans to develop a new fire hall along Palliser Trail.
In order to proceed with the chosen location, a municipally owned parcel of land located adjacent to the Holiday Inn and the cemetery, Canmore's elected officials must first consider a road closure for the site.
The parcel of municipally owned land was chosen from three options on Palliser Trail included in a fire hall study presented to council last spring. It includes 1.47-hectares of unused road allowance, which requires a bylaw and public hearing be held, in order for the road closure to proceed.
Development planner Tracy Woitenko presented first reading of the bylaw to council for consideration at the beginning of April.
"The purpose for closing this road is to dispose of unused portions of that road plan to create titled land and it would continue to be owned by the Town of Canmore for the purpose of development," Woitenko said. "Back in December, council approved the plan to construct the new fire hall on this site."
In addition to developing a detailed design concept for a brand new eight-bay fire hall on the site, council directed administration to explore the possibility of using the same location for future affordable housing.
The 2020 detailed design process has a $900,000 budget, while the fire hall itself is currently estimated to cost upwards of $14.6 million to develop.
Once developed, council would either sell or re-purpose the current fire hall location at the intersection of 10th Street and Railway Avenue. Over the next 30 years, a second fire hall would be developed in Three Sisters, as per the study completed by Group 2 consultants and accepted by council for planning purposes.
Mayor John Borrowman questioned whether there was enough land for future needs of the municipal cemetery.
Chief Administrative Officer Lisa de Soto said the public works department explored the cemetery's future land needs as part of the site selection process.
"Public Works has looked at the land the cemetery currently has," de Soto said. "They have over 100 years of life remaining in the lands available."
She added as planning for the site proceeds, future parking needs for the cemetery will also be considered.
A public hearing is scheduled for June 2 at 9 a.m. The public will be able to provide written submissions in advance, or make a public presentation to council during the online Zoom meeting.
In addition to requiring a bylaw approved by council, a road closure requires circulation of the proposal to utility companies as well as approval from the minister of transportation with the provincial government.