Groundbreaking launches $2.5 million project
By Ian Cobb/e-KNOW
A groundbreaking ceremony was held this afternoon at the step off point of a $2.5 million sewer system project that will connect River’s Crossing with the City of Cranbrook.
Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt joined Westpoint Capital CEO Munir Virani and River’s Crossing project manager Marty Gunderson, as well as other project partners and employees on Mennie Road (in front of Vast Resources), to celebrate the groundbreaking of a project that will see about four kilometres of sewer pipe being laid.
The ceremony also included special mentions about how the city and River’s Crossing are leaving behind a contentious period in which the project languished with “roadblocks” in place that halted the sewer system connection with the city.
“Since its inception, the development located with Cranbrook city limits and adjacent to the St. Mary’s River and Shadow Mountain Golf Course has found sewage to be a contentious issue,” noted a River’s Crossing press release issued at the ceremony.
“It’s very exciting for our team and the city to be taking this step,” Gunderson said. “It means residents will no longer have to depend on the present pump and haul system.”
River’s Crossing residents currently have sewage pumped from their homes to centralized holding tanks that are periodically pumped and trucked an hour away.
“This is probably the most significant project in our region right now,” said Virani, whose Edmonton and Cranbrook-based company is behind River’s Crossing
Mayor Pratt said he is excited to see River’s Crossing enter this new “very significant” phase. The company has recently spent about $1 million of finishing the roadways within the development.
Westpoint Capital’s investment in the city, which is being handled by big and smaller local contractors, should help get the economy “back on track,” Pratt said, adding, “We are deeply committed to economic development in the region.”
He noted he is pleased to see that River’s Crossing intends to invest $500,000 in marketing, something that will “raise the profile of the project and of the city.”
The renewed exposure for the city will say “we are open business,” Pratt said.
The mayor also said the gathering was “a realization of another vibrant community for Cranbrook.”
Virani said the groundbreaking is “a major, major milestone. We are really happy to be putting shovels in the ground.”
He explained that his company took over the development project a year ago. “Our commitment was to finish the incomplete work” and that’s been accomplished.
“This is confirmation that the project is in full swing,” he said, thanking city staff and the mayor and council for their help and leadership.
“You all have my appreciation of the hard work you have put in,” Virani said, noting he’s looking forward to watching the community grow.
The development project that has the advantage of being located along the St. Mary River and Shadow Mountain Golf Course and located between the Rockies and Purcell mountain ranges and is close to the Rockies International Airport, has the potential for 600 homes.