Leduc County is joining the City of Leduc, the Town of Devon and the Province in a joint effort to keep the Leduc #1 Energy Discover Centre operating.
Council approved a $30,000 contribution after hearing the joint funding proposal would be matched by the Province. Leduc already approved its $30,000 contribution and Devon will contribute a further $15,000. The Province has agreed to match the $75,000 with a Community Initiatives grant.
This money will make it possible for the Discovery Centre to continue operation until a provincial review and sustainability plan can be conducted by the province.
Council also gave Mayor John Whaley the go-ahead to send a letter to the Mayor of Edmonton Don Iveson asking that the originally Leduc #1 oil derrick be brought back home.
With news that Gateway Park will be closed at the end of the year, Whaley said it’s important for the original derrick to return to the site that became famous when oil was struck Feb. 13, 1947.
“We all know the story and the impact it had on this region and the province,” said Whaley.
When the well was shut down and the derrick dismantled, Whaley said “by default it got hijacked and Edmonton got it.”
“It should move back to its original site,” he said.
Private investors have agreed to find the relocation back to the original site, which is the same location as the Leduc #1 Energy Discover Centre. Whaley would also like to see it be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Because of the level of contamination on the property when the gusher blew in, the site is unusable for future development.
“As the City of Edmonton assesses the closing of the Gateway Information Centre, it is our sincere request that consideration be given to relocation of the derrick back to its original home at Leduc #1,” said Whaley.