Town trades 2 acres of land with Ponoka County for the Gym Club

“It would be suitable to put the Gymnastics Club building on that land.” Acting CAO Betty Quinlan

Land within the Southwest Industrial Park area, donated by Ponoka County to the Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club, is going to be traded with the Town of Ponoka in favour of a better location.

The decision to approve the exchange of two acres of land came May 29 during a regular meeting, where council felt a trade may be a better option for the club. Ponoka County had donated two acres in the industrial park but made an offer to the Town of Ponoka to exchange town property, of the same size, on Highway 2A near the Health Centre, explained Quinlan.

“It would be suitable to put the Gymnastics Club building on that land,” she added.

She feels the new location is better suited to having members attend as it is close to some of the schools in town. Service connections are also expected to cost the club less as they have already been developed on the Highway 2A property.

Quinlan says the estimated cost for service installation on Highway 2A is $128,000, including road paving at $90,000, while in the Southwest Industrial Park the cost is estimated at $247,000 to develop a road and services.

Coun. Marc Yaworski asked when construction would begin. Annette Fenske, board director said once inspection is complete, they hope to begin construction immediately.

Coun. Loanna Gulka was concerned over the trade after the town had developed the property some years ago but Mayor Rick Bonnett suggested since the land has been vacant for a few years, the town might be able to recover the cost of services installed once a group such as the Gym Club develops there.

“We’re not (currently) recouping the cost,” said Bonnett.

Coun. Carla Prediger agreed with Bonnett and suggested the building could be a positive addition to the town as it improves recreation in Ponoka, and the club has stated its desire to make the building open to the community as they desire to build a walking track in the building.

Councillors authorized administration to develop a memorandum of understanding with the Gym Club over the future community use of the building.

The land on Highway 2A was originally owned by Ponoka County and transferred to the Town of Ponoka several years ago. One of the agreements with the transfer was if the land were to be sold, one half of the proceeds would go to the county, which would still apply with the land exchange.