The mayor of Fort Macleod is promising not to give up in the fight for a police training centre in his town, saying he will turn to legal action.

Sean Patience said the province’s decision to pull out of the police and peace officer training centre was ‘a shock and utter betrayal.’

"I have asked the solicitor general to speak to the premier and cabinet and reverse the decision," Patience said. "I was told that would not happen. So, at this point they have literally, I guess for all intents and purposes, they've hung us out to dry."

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An artist's illustration shows what the police college would have looked like from the air. (Handout)

The announcement was a surprise because the government just awarded the construction contract in July.

At the same time, it authorized the town to start building water and sewer lines to the new site.

Town investment

Patience said Fort Macleod has already invested $4 million into the project.

The town started the water and sewer work and then bought 33 acres of land to zone for commercial and multi-residential use.

Resident Lamont Nelson said many people living in Fort Macleod have invested a lot in the project.

"There's a lot of people in this community who purchased homes, expanded businesses, bought businesses, based on the fact that it would move ahead," Nelson said. "We don't yet know yet what if any effect this will have on market values in this community."

Others say it's residents who will take the biggest hit.

"There's one fellow at the west end of town that has turned his house into a bed and breakfast and or a rental," Glen Chute said.

The town will have to talk with lawyers to find out if and how much compensation it can seek from the government.