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Picture Butte residential development still in the works

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Sunny South News

There may not be construction this year in Picture Butte’s new Sunset Park; but the residential development is moving closer to actual home building.

Town council discussed the new residential development, south of the LDS Church and taking in the town’s decommissioned water reservoir land, at a July 14 council meeting and put the push on to have work begin this fall, if possible, on the land prep work.

Mike Derricott, chief administrative officer (CAO), said the project was delayed this spring, as the town sought to work out a storm water management project with the adjacent school property. When it became apparent the school district was not interested in such a project, the town had to look at other options.

Now with a different approach, which will require the construction of additional storm water retention within the new development, Derricott told council the town’s engineers are suggesting spring of 2015 will be the earliest actual work on the property can begin.

“I’m not happy about waiting until next year, at all,” said Deputy Mayor Henry de Kok.

Coun. Joe Watson echoed his concerns, adding the town wanted to be able to sell lots and have construction start this year.

“I don’t think we have much choice here,” said Mayor Wendy Jones, acknowledging the project was delayed, while the town worked on the storm water management options.

Derricott said the town could speed up the timeline, but would likely pay a higher cost for the dirt work than if they waited until spring to begin.

Coun. Teresa Feist questioned, with the delay, if the town had received any calls asking about availability of lots in the new development.

“The interest is certainly still there,” said Derricott.

The deputy mayor said he would like to see at least the dirt work completed this fall, in order to speed up the timeline come spring.

“There is a lot of dirt to be removed,” said Derricott, adding there are some local companies who may be interested in that contract, which includes levelling the old reservoirs.

“The plans are moving ahead,” he noted. He indicated to council he would be looking for input from the town’s engineers and updating council on the next steps in the project.

He estimates actual home construction will begin mid-summer 2015 with the possibility of as many as 50 homes being built in the new development.

“Somewhere between 45 and 50 is what we’re looking at.”

The town estimates it will spend around $2 million getting the land, roads and utilities in place, but all of the costs will be recovered through the sale of lots, which are expected to average in the $50,000 range.

The town plans to open up the new residential development for the pre-sale of lots by Sept. 1 of this year.

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