Upcoming relief for Kelwood


Local gas station in the midst of development

By Cassandra Wehrhahn

Neepawa Banner & Press

Kelwood is undergoing long anticipated developments, expected to bring some much needed relief to the community and those around it. Picture living in a community where the nearest gas station or grocery store is in another town or city entirely. In and around Kelwood, not having a gas station or grocery store is the reality they have been living with for three or four years. Now those needs are closer to being met.

A parcel of land by the No. 5 highway is in the midst of development for a gas station, grocery store, and a small coffee shop. Being dubbed “The Barn”, though it may not be red, the building will be modeled to suit its name. The basic food and gas necessities will finally be readily available to residents sometime next spring, providing the schedule goes as planned. Doug Wood, a committee member for the project, spoke to the Banner & Press last week regarding the progress.

“We’re getting there. We’re finally getting some progress here,” Wood relayed. “So I’m quite happy about that. We’ve got the parking lot almost completed.”

With the parking lot underway, another contractor was hired to do the thickened edge concrete floor, which he estimates will take roughly a week and a half to two weeks for the pouring to be finished. Following the floor,  another new contractor will frame the building, and the rafters have been set to be ordered. Hoping to have the building closed in with windows and doors soon, Wood divulged that interior construction would be continued in the winter time to prep it for the estimated Spring deadline.

The building is set to have some energy efficient features, with one feature being set in place during the building process, and another feature being considered for the future.

“We’re installing geothermal heating and cooling, ten tonnes of geothermal,” said Wood. “We’ve also thought about putting in solar panels because we’ve got 9.7 acres of land out at the corner.”

Wood described the last three years as being “almost non-stop”, with the committee having to get the land rezoned for general development, getting the land surveyed and re-surveyed, attending hearings, and contacting Manitoba’s Department of Highways to get approaches built. Wood hopes that the new site will become a destination point for travellers upon its completion.

The station will be at the entrance to Kelwood and be highly visible from the No.5 highway. That particular road sees a lot of local, commercial and tourism traffic.