September 28th, 2021

Potential Arena buyer unveiled

By COLLIN GALLANT on July 13, 2019.

New Rock Developments is the potential buyer of the Medicine Hat Arena, a deal that’s been in the works since last fall, it can now be revealed.

The name of the of the local development company had been bandied about since city administrators announced hey had an interested party after several attempts to market the near 50-year-old arena.

That agreement will be outlined to council Monday as it will also begin the process of exempting some portion of future property tax amounts under powers granted to local council in the last set of amendments to the Municipal Government Act.

That same process led to this month’s brownfield tax relief package applied to the parking lot at 603 First Street parking lot.

The potential price is $1.5 million for the land, which will be subdivided to leave public ownership of a portion of the parking lot for the Downtown YMCA location and also a public right-of-way for the berm that shoulders the property.

The builder is becoming quite active.

In late 2018 New Rock signed a conditional offer to buy land near Lions Park from the city to build a multi-storey condo tower. Two years ago they undertook a bareland condo complex in a corner of Southlands, and recently expressed interest in doing something similar with land on Primrose Drive.

The future use of the site for the building is listed as medium-density residential, which would jive with a redevelopment overview plan for the area adopted by council in 2012.

Rubbish roundup

A local push to build a biodiesel refinery that would use trash as a feedstock received all sorts of publicity as Cielo Waste Solutions gave a Stampede Week barbecue to open its prototype refinery in Aldersyde, Alta., (near High River). An extension was announced on a June 28 timeline for an independent investors group to exercise rights in Medicine Hat, Brooks and Grande Prairie. The new timetable concludes on Sept. 30.

Speaking of petrochemicals… The Medicine Hat News’s award-winning methanol sector coverage has discovered that former Grande Prairie opposition MLA Wayne Drysdale has joined Nauticol as a senior vice-president. That company is looking to build an initial 1-million tonne production facility on the site of a former pulp mill and benefits from a minor Notley-era Petrochemical Diversification grant.

As for Methanex, their next earnings release on Aug. 1 and previously the company has said it could be prepared to make a thumbs-up decision on major plant expansion in Louisiana in “mid-2019.”

A look ahead

Council will hear about a potential ban on the sale and use of publicly available fireworks at Monday’s meeting. This comes about a month after the potential local bylaw to replace national fire code regulations that had the same effect was tabled. The city will also discuss a lease rate discount for Hut 8 data processing, and a potential sale of the Medicine Hat Arena land. With the early August meeting cancelled, council won’t sit again until August 19.

100 years ago

Former Medicine Hat News society editor Daisy MacGregor was wed to R.C. Marshall, the mayor of Calgary where the newspaper writer was employed to cover city hall for the Calgary Herald, the News announced on July 12, 1919.

After two more drownings, the News called for the construction of a municipal bath house or swimming pool. Local Orangemen celebrated the Glorious 12th at Police Point.

Two homeowners were fined $1 each in police court for contravening a watering ban.

Performances of “Finks Comedy Mule Circus” would entertain fair goers to the upcoming Stampede.

The Canadian Trades and Labour Congress would hold national meetings on Sept. 2 in Hamilton to discuss recent upheaval, civic unrest and general strikes caused but he One Big Union movement.

A wooden grandstand which sat 80,000 spectators and cost $250,000 to build in Toledo, Ohio for the Jack Dempsey-Jess Willard heavyweight championship bout would be demolished now that the bout was concluded. Dempsey was victorious in three rounds of the July 4 fight that brought in a gate of $450,000.

July 19 would be a “Day of Peace” throughout the British Dominion to commemorate the recent signing of the Treaty of Versailles by all sides of the European conflict.

Collin Gallant covers city politics and a variety of topics for the News. Reach him at 403-528-5664 or via email at

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