By J.W. Schnarr
Residential development located along Fourth Street could leave Vauxhall’s annual demolition derby homeless.
During their regular meeting on Feb. 17, Vauxhall council discussed two development plans for the area that would see houses potentially being built where the demolition derby is currently held.
Administration presented council with two options for the development, one involving a cul-de-sac and another that would see Fourth Street meet up with Seventh Avenue.
“In one, we develop services on both sides of the street,” said Chief Administrative Officer Cris Burns.
“In (the other) version, we only develop the services on one side, because we still have to develop the other side. Once council decides which (plan) they like the best, then the services will be installed.”
Burns said the location of the derby could cause issues for the development, and was something council might have to address.
“That might be another headache for council to figure out,” he said. “It’s one item a year, and it slows your development plans.”
“It’s one item a year that brings a lot of people to town,” replied Mayor Margaret Plumtree.
“I think that’s the main reason this development has been stalled for so long,” said Burns.
“I can’t see letting that determine which way this development goes,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Phillips.
“It’s one item a year that brings a bunch of people who drop a few dollars in town compared to ultimately having lots developed that would bring taxpayers to town.”
Plumtree said it would be good to have a conversation with the Vauxhall Ag Society regarding the issue. Burns said he was unaware of another place that could hold the event.
“The town has no large lots available that could host it,” said Burns.
In discussing which plan was more viable for the town, Phillips seemed to be leaning toward a straight road linking with Seventh Avenue.
“It would seem to me like this version gives you almost as many lots in the long run, and cheaper development because then you’re not building this extra road for the cul-de-sac,” he said.
“I would think this is a more economical development. You have houses on both sides of the street. From my perspective, it looks more logical. Lower cost per lot, for sure.”
“It’s the most practical,” agreed Burns.
Phillips also said the cul de sac plan could cause issues with a nearby baseball field, which would be much closer to the residences.
“People may not want the baseball diamond in their back yard,” he said. “For some it might be a plus, but I’m guessing for many people it might not be.”
“(A baseball) does more damage than a golf ball,” said Burns.
Phillips then suggested the issue be tabled to a future meeting, as he was in favour of hearing from the full council on the subject and Coun. Martin Kondor and Coun. Kim Cawley were absent from the meeting.
“This is one of the more significant decisions we’re going to make as a council,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind letting everyone have their say on it.”