The Town of Penhold has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past decade. And now the town is looking to expand its borders and acquire a whopping 21 quarters or 3,360 acres of land from Red Deer County through annexation.
The Town of Penhold has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past decade.
And now the town is looking to expand its borders and acquire a whopping 21 quarters or 3,360 acres of land from Red Deer County through annexation.
Since its incorporation as the Village of Penhold in 1904, this will only be the second annexation of land in its 112-year history.
At a regular council meeting on April 11, council directed administration to move forward and begin negotiations on the annexation of lands that will allow the town to grow in the future.
"We've done a growth study and submitted it to the county," said Penhold mayor Dennis Cooper. "The next step in the process is to write a letter to the county and explain to them we're going to move forward with negotiations. As we go through that negotiation process, we first inform the county and then we inform the Alberta Municipal Government Board (MGB, the deciding authority). Then we also start informing the landowners.
"This is the process that we will go through to prepare for that (growth)", he added.
Over the past two years, there have been preliminary discussions with the county regarding potential growth, but the county requested a growth study be completed first, said Rick Binnendyk, the town's chief administrative officer.
Town officials said the town is in the early stages of the annexation process, which will take about three years or more to complete.
They are looking to annex land north and south of Penhold, as well as east towards Highway 2.
"Our intent is to sit down with Red Deer County to discuss our future growth," said Binnendyk, noting long-term planning must be taken into consideration.
The last time Penhold annexed lands from Red Deer County was in 2008. At the time there was concern over the amount of land given to the town for growth purposes, Binnendyk noted. He added due to growth potential (numbers), the amount of land sought was deemed too small.
And now, Penhold is annexing land for the second time in less than 10 years.
"We're asking for these lands to be moved into our municipality," said Cooper. "We have been growing at an alarming rate every year and we have to prepare for that."
Mayor Dennis Cooper
"We're asking for these lands to be moved into our municipality. We have been growing at an alarming rate every year and we have to prepare for that."