Alberta Newspaper Group
The County of 40 Mile is slowly but surely working to build new offices and expand the county shop.
The Bow Island Commentator reported earlier this year that the county was looking to work on these projects and Reeve Steve Wikkerink confirmed the ball has moved forward a bit in the process.
“I know this has been an idea for years — probably about eight years,” he said. “With council, it’s just like being on the farm — we’re always looking for efficiency and to make this a better place to work.
“We asked our CAO to look into doing an expansion on our public works shop — since then we’ve decided that we would like to add on a couple bays so our Ag department could also move down with our public works.”
Wikkerink says the project is a big one and that council has heard concerns from members of the county, but council believes this is an important move to make.
“During the winter there’s a lot of overlap in what some of our Ag staff need to do during the winter — there’s a lot of running back and forth,” he said. “Having everyone in one location would save on a lot of that moving back and forth for staff and it would really create efficiency.”
He says the projects have been on council’s radar for years and that now is a good time to bring them to life.
“With all of the activity in the area, with the windmills coming, we thought this would be a good opportunity to sell the old property,” said Wikkerink. “We could sit around and wait, but right now things are happening and we think it’s a better time to try and sell.”
Wikkerink added that the final goal would be to get all three groups of employees, public works, administration and agriculture, into the same area.
“It’s just the running back and forth that’s a big trouble for us,” he said. “The main administration building is right downtown, the Ag shop is located in the northeast corner of Foremost and public works is over on the southeast corner. We want to move everyone over to the southeast. We have enough property there to expand and build what we need.
“If you’re all on one site and in one place — more is going to get done.”
Wikkerink says he is hopeful to get shovels in the ground by late 2020.