Work’s begun on the MD’s Cold Lake campgrounds expansion.

With camping season now over at Alberta’s MD’s Cold Lake campground, crews began work over the weekend on planned upgrades, according to The Cold Lake Sun.

Caroline Palmer, general manager of planning & community services, gave a project update to the are council during its meeting last week, and said that along with stripping and clearing of both the North and South loop roadways and campsite locations, installation of the water main is expected to be completed this year. Additionally, drainage improvements along the existing road access and full development of the tenting sites are also slated for completion this fall.

Covering 67 acres and with total project completion set for 2023, the $5.4 million is coming from the MD’s Parks Capital Budget for the years 2021 and 2022.

Council will also be applying for the Province’s Municipal Stimulus Program grant to help fund the project.

“The Government of Alberta is providing additional funding for capital infrastructure to foster economic growth, create jobs and improve infrastructure within the province up to $1.5M for other work, if eligible,” Palmer said.

Palmer noted that upon reviewing the view-out area onto Cold Lake, it was realized there had been a boat launch there at one time, and the administration felt there was a responsibility with the expansion of the RV sites extension area to put in a new one and sustain a marina site. This would also help alleviate the overstressing of the points of entry onto Cold Lake.

This would be part of the third and final phase and would see a 20-slip Marina installed for boats up to 25 feet long, as well as a dock, parking lot, controlled entrance and exit gates, and the removal and replacement of the washed-out lookout. Palmer said this might require slope stabilization, depending on what recommendations a geotechnical team brings back.

Reeve Greg Sawchuk said a recent conversation with Mayor Craig Copeland confirmed the city’s on board with a boat launch. With a waiting list over 100 people, he said the Cold Lake Marina could double in capacity and still not be big enough to handle the load.

“He said even if you go beyond and allows others to access it that he doesn’t think people would have a problem paying for that access as well,” Sawchuk noted.

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