The town's 2022 budget draft calls for expenditures of $193,000 to operate The Station innovation centre/transit hub on Railway St. when it opens.

Of that, the largest costs are $92,000 is for 1.5 town customer service representatives and $40,000 for repair and maintenance that is not under warranty.

Typical operational costs of utilities, cleaning, and insurance are estimated to total $27,000 and they've added in $5,000 for marketing.

The multi-purpose building will become the home of the visitor information centre, currently located on 1 St. W., as well as the town's economic development dept.

The customer service reps will enable residents and businesses to access similar services provided at the Cochrane RancheHouse, such as paying utility bills and permit fees, in addition to transit transactions. 

During the Nov. 22 budget meeting, town council was provided an overview of what type of programming to expect when it opens.

An independent group called Innovate Cochrane is developing programming. In the early going, it's looking at providing startup support, innovation, and building capacity building for existing companies

"So, it's not just getting new ones, but it's looking at the businesses we currently have in town to see what support and help we can give to expand their businesses, or as COVID has taught us, learn to pivot and maybe do things differently than we did before," explained Katherine Van Keimpema, Corporate Services executive director.

Cochrane Tourism plans to utilize the centre for its business mentorship program, and the Cochrane Public Library wants to run computer programming classes there.

Construction is expected to be complete in Summer 2022.