BOWDEN — Town council plans to redesignate a 160-acre chunk of land for heavy industrial use.
The land in question is located between the town’s sewage lagoons and the railway tracks.
The redesignation was given first reading during town council’s July 12 meeting. A public hearing on the matter is set for Aug. 23, 7 p.m. at the town office.
Oil and gas, steel or chemical production and the manufacturing of big machinery are just some examples of heavy industry.
Currently the land in question is zoned as an urban reserve.
“We are trying to get our land so that if a business is interested in it, then it’s all set to go,” mayor Robb Stuart said during an interview.
“It was public reserve, but you can’t build anything on a public reserve, so designation to heavy industrial.”
Bowden chief administrative officer Greg Skotheim was asked why the land is not being designated for residential or commercial use, rather than heavy industry.
In an email, he said it’s not suitable for such uses.
“There are restrictions to building a residence in proximity to sewage lagoons,” he wrote.
Stuart was asked if he anticipates a lot of interest from heavy industries to locate to that area of Bowden. He said he had been hoping they might locate on land the town annexed across Highway 2, but has been told that landowners there don’t want to sell their land.
If the redesignation does go through and some heavy industry is set up there, it could expand the town’s tax base, which would lighten the load on current taxpayers, Stuart indicated.
Meanwhile, Stuart doubts there’ll be much interest from the public regarding the proposed land redesignation.
“Most people, if they go out there at all, they go to the burn pit. Then they walk their dog. Drive out there and walk the dog for 10 minutes, then load him back in the car and drive him back to town,” he said with a light laugh.