Wheatland County council along with the Town of Strathmore council have both officially signed off on a letter to Municipal Affairs Minister Rick McIver regarding their secession from the Calgary Municipal Region Board (CMRB).
Both signings occurred during the most recent regular council meetings, which also included discussions regarding what comes next for both municipalities.
“With the minister’s decision to remove us from the CMRB at the end of March, the mayor (Fule) and I met with (Reeve Link) and the CAO from Wheatland (County) to discuss what the next steps look like,” said Town of Strathmore CAO Kevin Scoble. “This is being proactive in addressing the next steps. When we were removed from the CMRB, we are now obligated to do an intermunicipal development plan (IDP) and intermunicipal collaboration framework (ICF) under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) with Wheatland County.”
The MGA states that any municipalities not members of a growth board must enter into an IDP and ICF.
The letter to Minister McIver proposes that both Wheatland County and the Town of Strathmore be allowed to begin the process in 2023, which would allow the respective municipalities to adequately budget for the expense to complete the required documents.
The 2023 timeline was reportedly a mutually agreed upon start date by both municipalities with proper budgeting for the process in mind.
The letter also thanks the minister for his involvement in releasing the Town and the County from the board.
“This is more a mutual commitment to the minister showing that we are both willing to collaborate on this in the future and to give him some idea (of timeline,)” said Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link. “(McIver) had indicated at the CMRB meeting where he announced our removal, that we would be required to do these documents … he had indicated his preference if we could come to some sort of mutual agreement on what might be a reasonable timeline.”
McIver could overrule the suggestion in the letter and give a different timeline that he would establish, but according to Link, would prefer to let municipalities establish something collaboratively themselves.
In neither council meeting was it discussed how much it would cost either municipality to establish and IDP and ICF agreement, nor was a further timeline suggested other than mention of approximately when the process would begin.
In both council meetings, the motion to sign the letter to Minister McIver was passed unopposed.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times