Town drops land price to speed up sale at industrial park

The Town of Ponoka has land for sale and the price just dropped.

The Town of Ponoka has land for sale and the price just dropped.

A tabled motion from Coun. Rick Bonnett was brought back to council June 24 to make a final decision on a property in the Southwest Industrial Park. The price was reduced to $180,000 from $225,000 after councillors argued the merits of lowering the price.

Bonnett feels the sale is important to start to bring new tax assessment to Ponoka since the property has been sitting for some time. He suggests lowering the price is what any businessperson would do.

“I’m willing to take a chance on it,” he said. “The status quo hasn’t been favourable for us.”

Coun. John Jacobs wanted to know how much the town has invested in the property. “The public has a right to know.”

The 13.3 acres of land cost the town $244,778.

Despite losing money put into the property, Coun. Loanna Gulka suggested keeping it for sale at the current price is losing more money. “I would like to see taxes gleaned and jobs brought into the community.”

The asking price may be similar to those of neighbouring municipalities but Bonnett does not feel Ponoka is in a position to ask for those same rates. He suggested the town has not seen rapid growth in some time.

“Ponoka’s not Red Deer and Lacombe, I’m sorry. We need to come to that agreement by now that we are a little bit slower growth than the rest of the other areas in the corridor,” stated Bonnett.

Buyers have the opportunity to approach administration, said CAO Brad Watson. He says the doors are always open for those who want to make an offer less than what is advertised. “Make an offer but make it in writing.”

Without this land there would be no industrial land for sale, stated Mayor Larry Henkelman and if sold there would be none left. Approximately 10 years ago the town had 40 acres for sale and what is left is this parcel. The businesses who did buy land there were able to because the land was ready to use. “Otherwise we would not have the business we have today.”

However, none of the land sold made full recovery but Henkelman said he would support the motion if the town stayed firm on the price.

Land for sale should be sold, stated Gulka.

“My understanding is the Town of Ponoka bought the land to sell the land. I want to sell the land.”

Henkelman and Coun. Doug Gill voted against the motion.