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City committee votes to force out Whitemud Park owners
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Monday, November 19, 2012 7:11PM MST
Last Updated Monday, November 19, 2012 7:14PM MST
The future of a long-standing amusement park in southeast Edmonton is looking less certain, after a city committee voted Monday to expropriate the owners, to make way for a proposed LRT line.
The city’s Executive Committee supported a recommendation from city planners, and voted in favour of forcing the owners of the Whitemud Amusement Park out.
“We don’t like to impact businesses obviously, but the LRT is one of those initiatives that we’ve said from day one is about improving our infrastructure in the City of Edmonton, and it’s needed,” Councillor Kim Krushell said Monday.
A lawyer for the park owners was at the meeting Monday, and urged councillors to relocate the business as part of the expropriation process – it’s a possibility supported by the mayor.
“I think we maybe need to find another place where Whitemud Park could go,” Mayor Stephen Mandel said. “I like to hit the baseballs too, and people like to ride in the go karts.
“So maybe there’s an alternative we can find to help recreate that, but it’s up to the individual.”
One of the park’s owners agreed.
“For our customers, I think relocation would be adequate, we’ve been in operation for a long time, and this is kind of like a known name in Edmonton,” Whitemud Amusement Park owner Sukhy Aulakh said. “We would like to continue our operation as long as possible.”
The expropriation still needs final approval from city council, construction on the southeast leg of the LRT is expected to start in 2014.
With files from Bill Fortier
City documents show negotiations over land being eyed for the southeast LRT expansion have stalled and if the project is to move forward, council may need to vote to expropriate the land they need. That puts the Whitemud Amusement Park in jeopardy.