South Peace News
Turns out one word has caused much ado about nothing.
The land on which the old High Prairie Health Complex was on was not sold, rather transferred from one department of the Alberta government to another: to Alberta Health Services (AHS) from Alberta Infrastructure.
High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk expressed mixed emotions about the news.
“The news that the land was not sold is disappointing,” he wrote in an email.
“I was hoping a developer had purchased the land with plans to build something great and with the added benefit of an increased tax base for the town.
On the positive side, given the land is still available means the Province may still consider giving it to the Town.”
Council has lobbied for the land to be turned over to them for years.
The government published on its Alberta Government Infrastructure Properties Being Considered for Future Sales and Currently for Sale – November 2022 that the land was “sold”. It prompted many questions from the High Prairie community including the price, buyer, why it was not advertised for sale, and why town council and the community was not consulted as promised regarding the future of the 10.46-acre site.
Alberta Infrastructure responded to South Peace News about what happened. They recapped the process.
In 2017, a new hospital opened replacing the old hospital. The old hospital stood vacant. In Budget 2021, the government approved capital funding for the demolition of the old hospital. To complete demolition, Alberta Health Services transferred ownership of the site to Alberta Infrastructure, who handed the project. A contract was awarded to Roadbridge Services of Edmonton, who completed demolition and reclamation in 2022.
“Alberta Infrastructure has since returned it back to AHS and the site is currently owned by AHS,” reads an email to South Peace News from Alberta Infrastructure.
AHS will work with Alberta Infrastructure to change the description of ‘sold’ and instead use the term ‘transferred,’ cites the news release.