High River and Canadian Pacific reach historic agreement


High River, AB: On Monday, June 8 Council directed administration to finalize the agreement between the Town of High River and Canadian Pacific (CP) for the Town to purchase a critical parcel of land including a significant area in the centre of the community. The deal is valued at $1.8 million.

“This is a defining moment for High River,” said Mayor Craig Snodgrass, “and CP has been extremely cooperative in helping us make this a reality, I also want to thank Mr. Scott Tannas and Mr. Cam Crawford for their assistance in making this deal happen”

The contract was finalized after Council gave approval for the Town to proceed with negotiations at its regular meeting April 27. The parcel of land includes more than 32 acres that stretches through the centre of town from the north to the south municipal boundary.

Council will need to approve a borrowing bylaw before the final documents can be formally signed. The closing date is December 31, 2015 when the actual transfer of ownership will take place. With the acquisition of this land, the Town will be able to finish flood mitigation projects to protect the south, proceed with plans to increase parking in the downtown core and complete the final lanes on the Centre Street roundabout.

“It will double the size of the downtown area and open up so many options,” said Snodgrass. “While it’ll provide a solution to downtown parking and allow us to complete flood mitigation work, it’s also an opportunity to create a beautiful green space in the heart of the downtown that will connect First and Centre streets and possibly a continuation of Rotary Park all the way to 12 Avenue. This will create connectivity and further council’s walkability strategy for High River.”

Since 2013, High River has been renewing its downtown with upgraded infrastructure and an area redevelopment plan that focuses on creating a shared pedestrian-vehicle space. The addition of the lands along the CP corridor makes it possible for the Town to expand this plan and enhance the downtown streetscape.

“The acquisition of this land puts us beyond just recovering from the 2013 flood,” said Snodgrass. “It puts High River on track for long-term growth and the creation of an enviable place where people line up to be part of it.”