Reading this week's local newspapers I see that Mayor Bruce Decoux is floating an idea of the municipality acquiring the soon to be abandoned Devon Gas Plant land in Sentinel, and turning it into a site to hold festival events, such as Thunder in the Valley.
Devon land proposed for festival site
Myself, personally, I think his idea of a festival site has merit... for the River Run site in Blairmore, that is... NOT the Sentinel site. The River Run site would be perfect for this type of purpose as in all likelihood nothing will ever be built on this site, and besides, its best use would be as a park serving the needs and uses of the community as the occassion arises, such as annual events like Thunder in the Valley. A centralized location such as this in the heart of town, close to the highway for advertising purposes and drawing people into our community is perfect, as would a chairlift/gondola for a four season multi-purpose ski hill be as well.
But lets get back to the Devon Gas Plant and my reasons for wanting to squash this idea of the mayor's in the bud as being not well-thought out, and as a result, nothing short of ridiculous. They are threefold...
- Location (wind)
This one is so obvious that only a newcomer or someone who spent most of his life living elsewhere than in the Pass would not know. Just as locals scoffed at the idea of the Bridgecreek Devlopment at the lakes when it was first announced, knowing as they did the problems with that area for a proposed marina (freezing waters year-round) and condo development (violent windstorms), the same holds true with respect to extremely strong winds in the Sentinel area where the Devon Gas Plant is situated.
On this point, and before my time living here, a friend of mine told me a story yesterday relating to the fact that at one time a landing strip for light planes was located on that site. In this regard, years back, my friend's friend and he went to pick up some passengers that were flying in only to see my friend's friend's friend crash to his death, along with four others, when a wind gust picked their plane up and crashed them into the Crowsnest River. Need I say more about strong winds in this area having the potential to suddenly and unexpectedly bring death and destruction to the unwary.
- Industrial land
Right across this country, in town after town, and city after city, there is a desperate shortage of prime industrial land. Most of it is in a few hands only and expensive as hell, as a result. Our municipality has little in the way of big acreages and little to none of this is industrial. What I'm saying is, we need all the industrial land we can hold onto in order to attract potential industry to our area. Extravagantly wasting it by setting it aside as basically a dedicated reserve (park) is a foolish waste in my opinion and counterproductive for the intent and purpose of the mayor's proposal here? i.e. robbing Peter to pay Paul. It makes no sense?
- Environmental (financial) liabilities
The potential environmental and financial liabilities for this site could very well be enormous having untold ramifications and consequences. Do we as a municipality want to assume that risk? For a park? Do we want a one-term mayor having only a few months left in his term to negotiate such a deal on our behalf, at this time? I think not!
That's what I think. Now what do you think?
Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong.