Village of Hussar to annex school site

·2 min read

Wheatland County has given the green light for the lands of a former school site to be transferred to the Village of Hussar.

Hussar School, owned by Golden Hills School Division (GHSD), closed in June 2016 after operating for 67 years. GHSD contacted Wheatland County in August 2017 to gauge the county’s interest in acquiring the Hussar school building and land.

Originally, the county was developing plans to obtain the land the school was situated on. But the county eventually decided it didn’t want the land itself. Instead, the Village of Hussar wanted to acquire the land and submitted an expression of interest for the annexation to begin. In June and July 2020, the county informed the school division they could begin the land transfer to the Village of Hussar. The land was transferred to Hussar on Oct. 8.

Now that the transfer has occurred, the land must be annexed officially.

During its regular meeting on Nov. 10, Wheatland County council voted unanimously to direct administration to start the annexation process.

Annexation is a multistep process outlined by provincial regulation. For an uncontested annexation, where all parties are in agreement, the process is simpler, however. After starting an annexation proposal, information is provided to a board, which reviews it and provides a recommendation for an Order in Council and documents to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. If approved, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta considers the annexation and signs the Order of Council.

How the Village of Hussar will use the land is undetermined, said Kate Brandt, chief administrative officer. “As of right now, we don’t have any set decision,” she said, adding the village council will be discussing the topic soon.

Hussar conducted a development survey to ascertain resident views on the future direction of the village, the results of which are published on its website. One of the questions asked respondents what the school site should be used for. Many of the 39 respondents said it should be kept as a park or recreational space, but 12 said the space could be used for seniors housing of some kind.

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times