Residents weigh in on Sexsmith’s future industrial growth

·2 min read

Long-term plans for industrial development between Sexsmith and the County of Grande Prairie may change slightly due to public feedback.

Sexsmith council voted to make some changes to the draft Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) during its meeting last week.

The changes would shift planned development to the northeast of current town boundaries south to the area closer to Viterra, said mayor Kate Potter.

“We were really appreciative of the residents who said, ‘These are some concerns we see,’ and I think those were addressed,” Potter said.

Potter noted the IDP is a long-term plan for a period of perhaps 50 to 100 years, and no development is imminent.

Eighteen people attended two sessions in November to review the draft IDP and several questioned why certain lands were designated for industrial growth, said Rachel Wueschner, Sexsmith’s chief administrative officer.

The area east and northeast of town boundaries was designated for industrial development under the draft IDP.

Attendees suggested development be shifted closer to the Emerson Trail due to existing infrastructure there, including a high-grade road.

Potter said while the eastern area may not currently have a through road, land access may be established over a long-term period.

Attendees further suggested the current plans may negatively impact the landscape and agricultural lifestyle east of town.

Potter said the land isn’t being re-designated at this time.

Council did support moving some planned development, from two quarter-sections on the northeast of town borders to the Viterra area, partly because the northern area contains wetlands, Potter said.

In accordance with feedback, council also voted to recognize a link between range roads 61 and 63 as a priority road.

Range Road 63 runs west of Sexsmith and is entirely in the county, and improvements could make it easier for large trucks to transfer from Range Road 61 (a truck route) to 63, she said.

The designation of a priority road means the county and town will communicate with each other regarding future plans for road improvements, she said.

Following council’s changes, Potter said the matter will go back to negotiations between the town and county.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News