I would first like to thank the new city council for tabling the NW Industrial Park area structure plan proposal from Invest Medicine Hat.
The City of Medicine Hat’s administration seems to have lost focus on the quality and enjoyment of life for its residents. To focus only on potential development at the expense of five clubs that bring a lot of revenue, people and enjoyment to the citizens of this city. If the city passes the proposed NW area structure plan it could stop all further investment into these facilities. The net loss would not only be to these clubs and the citizens of Medicine Hat but to all the restaurants, hotels, sporting goods outlets and automotive parts suppliers. It seems the administration does not take into consideration the benefit of attracting potential new residents or investors who appreciate the diversity of activities available in our community.
All these facilities must be located away from any residential development, this is why they have negotiated leases with the city at this location. Over the past 30 years these clubs have invested millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours in the development of these facilities. I feel it would be in the city’s best interest to rezone the 200 acres to outdoor recreation and sell the property to the clubs involved (at a reasonable price).
None of these clubs have received any funding from the city in the past 30 years. Not many clubs can claim this. This would enable the clubs to invest in their own facilities and make them more appealing for participants and spectators. This would then enhance the revenue to the clubs and to the city in general.
If the 200 acres the clubs use was a lake, the development would work around it. I cannot imagine the uproar if the city would rezone the soccer fields, parks or golf courses for future potential development. If we as a city do not have facilities to attract new residents, we will also not attract new development.
The other concern I have is the growth of heavy industrial development and the potential for accidents in transportation of these goods. I do not understand why the city has not looked into the relocation of the CP rail line that goes right through the downtown. This is the same downtown that is the starting point for the riverfront redevelopment and downtown revitalization. I understand these are big-ticket items but feel it would make our city more attractive for future investment and development.
(Editor’s note: this letter appeared in the March 17, 2022 edition of the Commentator/Courier’s sister paper the Medicine Hat News)