Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 31, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
16 THE LETHBRIDGE HERAID TuosJoy, Oclohef 31, 197J____________________ Sparwood, with a population growth of about since IOGQ Jays claim to being the Brasil- ia of the western world since it is a brand new urban area forged out of the mountains on Highway 3, 20 miles into Brit- ish Columbia. It all started in lOtVi when tlic decision to phase out tlio coal company villages of Natal- Michel and the Hospital Im- provement District. These thrco entities were responsible for the maintenance of the hospital but pressures made it necessary to move the residents of the Because of the pressures, the village of Natal applied to the B.C. government For a land assembly development al the site of the Village of Sparwood, where a new community coyld be formed. Urlwni renewal The government then sug- gested a complete urban re- newal scheme which would form the new community. To do this, it was necessary to a vote of all property hold- ers to disincorporate Natal and Michel and the Hospital Im- provement District to form one municipality, A referendum in 10G5 showed por cent of the voters in favor, even with them partially responsible for the cost rjf the move. In April 10DG, the District of Kparwoocl was formed find after provincial government or- ders lo cut bnck on the area, boundaries were Fettled around acres, eliminating all coal lands from the jurisdiction of the- new ,'irea. The urban renewal was ed in Natal-Michel that year and the plans called for tlio complete removal of the vil- lages. The cost of doing so was home by the federal govern- rnent, which paid the pro- vincial government which paid 25 psr cent and the District of Sparwood and part oi the loral Area A of the regional of the District of East Kooten ay, which s h arcd the other 25 per cent. Once formed, the governing body comprised a mayor and aldermen, similar to a combin- ation municipal and civic gov- ernment in Alberta. Elected mayor was Louis Ungard with aldermen Joe Allomarc, Reg Taylor, Tony Deluca, Harry Eberls, l-'rank and Marie (Molly) Doratty, Special power Because of the large area controlled, an exaggerattd T shape laying on its side, spe- cial powers bad to be given the council to apply to areas outside the townsile. Lorette Montemuiro, clerk for the district holding similar powers to a to vvn secret ary- treasurer in Alberta, said tlie same set of nil es regulati ons and bylaws are followed for tho entire district but special pow- ers arc required because of the expanse of raw lands that towns nnd cities don't have. The Municipal Acts states: "May by bylaw, undertake any work or service coming within the powers of the municipality for the special benefit of a specified area of the munici- pality." She worked in the village of- fice at NaLal before the urban remval plan started. When Kai- ser Resources Ltd. took over the area from Crow.sne.st I 'ass it contained to fol- low the plnn whenever a per- son moved out, the house tin had lived in would be destroyed since it was owned by company. Tlio renewal policy has virtually complete with only tho Michel Hospital, which is still Hie only facility to servo tho .ceds of the district and the Michel Hotel aavJ Coffee Shop the only businesses left, Starting from the nucleus of 100 homes in Sparwood, the council b e-ga ti ser vi ci ng new lo! s un cle r t he land assem lily scheme in 1068. At that time 216 residential lots were read- ied for occupancy through fi- nancing provided by the Cen- tral Mortgage and Housing Cor- poration Dnd the provincial gov- ernment That money was re- gained through the sale of the Jots. A fvirtltOL' 250 residential lots were EC v v iced a nd a cc tn mer- cial area was completely ser- viced. Underwood McLcllan and Associates of Calgary and Leth- b ridge responsible for drawing up the finished layout of the Gectrgo Getty, an engineer for Underwood MoLclian, said tho layout for the town was set up around the existing site using the lay of the land as the cri- teria for the plan. Upper Sparwood. is the ol d site, including the new commer- cial development. Here all the stores and bu s inesses a re de- signed in a compact form to allow for adequate parking for all persons needing it. The churches arc located in the area nnd the parking for stores is used on the Sunday. A major collector road was built around the developed area. A road joining upper Spanvood lower Sparwood drops traf- fic 100 feet before joining the collector road. In the new area, a large crescent lying along the slope of the land serves most of the area. Mr, Getty said (he area ts now suitable for per SOILS with the toL.il capacity of the town sut at plans en 11 for de- velopment of the area oast of the highway but this is limited because of a mountain. A region between the existing lOASiisilc and the railway tracks was not developed for residen- tial living because of a high water table. It is itsed in part lo serve the recreational needs of the community. Part of tlie planned communi- ty is the trailer or mobile home area. There are two large courts holding 72 and 57 trailers respectively. Three smaller courts hold 15 units. Mobile homes To serve the needs of i h e many construction workers, the town has built a 100-utiit hostel for single men. Also there are 76 town houses and 52 apart- ment units. Miss said t h e trailer courts play an impor- tant role in the development of the (own because of the short- age of housing. There were JG lols of regula- tion sixc started in the heart of the town for mobile homes. Tlw day The Herald visrtcd Spar- wood, 12 additional lots went on sale for mobile homeowners. The cost was on a ftrst- come-first-scrved basis and the waiting line started the night before. Sparwood Elementary and Sparwood Secondary schools serve (he needs of the area. There are 689 students in rooms in the elementary school and 3flO student.1; in 20 rooms in the second ary school. A cafe- teria and gymnasium are being used as classrooms, pending tho start and completion of a plan- ned school. Avelino (Cooky) Cimolini is the public works foreman who operates bis department w i t h four men. B.C. Hydro supplies the elec- trical needs while Columbia Natural Gas fills the gas needs, Oivii sewer The sowor system i.s niuiuci- p.illy owned. The system, built in 19Gfl, is handling twice what it was geared for, said Miss Montern urro, hut it U bei ng tripled in capacity. Water for tlie town I.s brought from wells across the Elk River and pu mped through the sys- tem. The excess is pumped to a newly compbted rescrvoir. The water in the reservoir serves as an added, prossuro station and as a source of crgency water. The Miclicl Hospital is still used, although, recently provin- cial government officials recog- nized the need for a new facil- ity. Two doctors are available on call. Recreational needs will he filled by the new arena com- munity hall scheduled for completion by December. The complex cost rais- ed by public donation and mun- icipal input. Kaiser Resources put up one (bird of the total. Skiing and golf facilities are available at near-by Fernie. Churches in the town include a Roman Catholic, Christian Al- liance and United Anglican. The latter two plan to build in the near future. Neivness Indicative of the newness of (he town, all the power lines, cable television lines and tele- phone lines are mulerground, Only the main electrical feeder line is above ground and that is in the back lane area. The town and district i.s serv- ed by a five-man RCMP staff. The bus4 ness dist net i s al I within a one mile radius of tho outskirts of the I own. Included in the district is n dry cleaners, two banks, two insurance agents, a liquor store, tv.'o shoo stores, two pharmacy stores, two beauty salons, laundry facilities, two garages, t v; o motels, two restaurants, and one hardware. Also, there are five grocery outlets, three clothing one furniture store, two build- ing supply 01 it Ic'.s, one 1 rj Icher shop, a billiard hall, a bakery, camera shop and sporting poo'Js store. There is no theatre. Twenty outlets for service ami supplies for industry are part of the light industry section south of the townsite.