Tuesday, July 28, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 30 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“Throwing a Food Bank
out on the street is
an embarrassment.”
- Councillor Gary Taje  
- on a council decision about 
a Food Bank request 

 

 
Rumours have been rampant in the community for some time now about the future of the River Run residential project on 52 acres in northern Blairmore. On Thursday, July 23, the Pass Herald sat down with Bill Bradley, one of the principal owners of the Bridgecreek Development Corporation, to find out where the company is and what they plan to do in the future.
Bradley indicated that the recession that hit the country and the world last fall severely affected their ability to raise money. Their funding efforts ground to a halt, stalling any work on the project.
“It’s had a severe impact on us,” said Bradley. “I know people are frustrated.”
He said that the company has been making several corporate changes through the first half of this year, to prepare for when the economy turns around.
Bradley made no effort to hide the fact that the company has been faced with financial difficulties. At the end of December, 2008, they defaulted on payments to some of their investors, and Bradley admitted that they made some mistakes in how they handled some aspects of their company.
He was also blunt in dispelling rumours that have taken root in the community. “We are not on the verge of bankruptcy,” he said. “We have our heads above was experienced. He adds a lot of credibility.”
Bridgecreek closed its doors on all of its major headquarters as of June 30, said Bradley, cutting their overhead by 90 percent. They no longer have offices in Vancouver, Calgary, or the Netherlands.
The sales centre in Blairmore, said Bradley, is now the company’s headquarters. They have been keeping it open on weekends, but soon plan to open six days a week.
Bradley himself has moved full-time to the Crowsnest Pass. He said that he has been spread too thin over the last three years, chasing down funds and travelling to promote the project, and he wants to settle down with a renewed focus on River Run.
“I lost my focus,” Bradley admitted, “and I made a lot of mistakes, but we’re correcting those by being here. I know it’s absolutely imperative that we be here in the community.”
“In my view we will manifest River Run,” said Bradley. “These things take a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and a lot of community support. We’re focused on the Crowsnest community. It’s my dream to see this happen.”
He said that there are signs of recovery both in the community and in the national economy. The company is getting closer to resuming its activities, he said.
 
Bradley wanted to remind the community that the changes and growth that took place in other communities, such as Fernie and Canmore, were the result of sometimes dozens of years of planning and effort. The Pass, in his opinion, has a lot more going for it than any of those other successful communities.
All of the fundamentals are here, he said, including infrastructure, services, and amenities –– the key will be to plan for it properly and build on a vision of where the community wants to be.
“This municipality doesn’t have a vision or a plan, as I see it,” said Bradley. “The community’s stuck. I view River Run as sort of the first, the catalyst.”
He said that his biggest concern for the Pass is the creation of opportunities for young people. The community has been fragmented recently, he said, and the lack of concensus has held it in place. Crowsnest Pass, he said, seems to be a community that doesn’t believe in itself.
River Run would play a strong roll in getting the ball rolling, so to speak, for community growth, said Bradley. The creation of 450 new homes would increase the tax base by 15 percent, he said, without adding any costs to the community, adding at least a million dollars in taxes to the municipality.
In addition, he said, the inclusion of 1000 new people in the community, even if a percentage only come on weekends, would be a huge boost to local businesses. He expressed disappointment that currently there are several vacant commercial spaces on main street Blairmore.
He noted one change to their plans at River Run. They no longer plan to include a hotel in the project, instead aiming for a combined indoor pool and fitness centre called River Run Club. Residents could pay either per-use, monthly, or annually to be a member, said Bradley, and the rates would be affordable.
All of this, of course, depends on their ability to secure more funding. Bradley said that they have some things in the works, and he is confident that as the economy recovers, they will be ready to launch back into the project.
In addition to their reduction of office space through the world, the company has also downsized its staff by 90 percent. Bradley added that they are and will be outsourcing more of their work than before, which is a lesson they learned after trying to do everything in-house previously.
Bradley urged the community to have patience with the project, and reaffirmed that they are committed to making it a reality in its entirity, to the benefit of the Crowsnest Pass.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 30 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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