SPCA accepts land offer on Kelley Road
By Bradley Fehr
Monday August 28, 2006
“I’m very excited to get on with the project,” said Debi Huber, SPCA president, who has been working with the society’s board for more than four years to find a new location.
Town administration met with the SPCA board on Aug. 4 to present the offer of a one-acre irregularly shaped piece of land on Kelley Road where the old Ranger Station is located near the West Fraser garages.
On Aug. 25, members of the society’s board who could be contacted voted unanimously in favour of the move.
Because of the shape of the land, it took some time for the SPCA to consult with its architect to see if the proposed shape would work.
“We can do it, but everything will be tight to the fence lines,” Huber said.
Town council still has to give formal approval to the transaction and will deal with the matter at the Sept. 5 regular meeting of council.
Before any offer could be made, Mayor Glenn Taylor said that town council first had to decide where a new public works building would built.
At its Aug. 21 regular meeting, council decided to move forward with plans for a new public works building in the Town’s eco-industrial park, pending the sorting out of some details.
This decision freed up an eight and a half acre parcel of land on Kelley Road, whose five-year lease is up at the end of October.
“This should resolve their location issue,” Taylor said.
The one-acre portion of land was offered to the SPCA for a $1 a year lease with the rest of the land to be sold at market value to help fund the new public works building.
The land offered to the SPCA is estimated to be worth between $150,000 and $250,000.
Taylor said that the SPCA is being offered a long-term lease rather than being given the land outright so that the land would revert back to the town in the event that something happens to the SPCA down the road.
The Hinton and District SPCA has been looking for a new location for the animal shelter for a number of years after outgrowing their current facility on Hampshire Road.
The size and water issues with the current facility have been major obstacles in the operation of the facility.
“To keep this open is quite a challenge at this point,” Huber said, adding that having a light at the end of the tunnel will make things much easier to deal with.
A prospective move to Mary Reimer Park was turned down a couple of times by the park board over the last several months leaving the society and the Town scrambling to find another suitable site.
Huber said that the society had until Oct. 1 to inform their landlord of their moving plans for face possible eviction.
The SPCA has secured about $237,000 in funding for a new building through a partnership with the local Rotary Club.
The club has contributed about $100,000 in funding with $125,00 coming from a government grant and another $12,000 coming from an SPCA held casino.
The project is estimated to cost about $650,000 with the remainder of the funds coming from the solicitation of Edson, Jasper, Grande Cache and Yellowhead County, which are all municipalities that utilize the service. Some additional fundraising will likely be necessary.
If approved, construction on the site could begin as soon as spring.