Regional Governance Model Progressing

-Region residents to be asked to provide feedback when details completed-

October 6, 2017 – For Immediate Release

Progress is being made on developing the details of what a single-tier regional municipality would look like. Results are anticipated to be presented for public feedback in Spring, 2018.

“Regional governance is a complex and emotional subject, and we know that the top of mind question you have is: how would this be better than what we have now?” said Bob Coutts, FIP (Flagstaff Intermunicipal Partnership) Chair. “We have been working over the summer months on the details you have asked us for so that you can consider this question with as much information as possible.”

Municipal Chief Administrative Officers from each community gathered over the summer months to collaborate on determining what a services structure would look like. This is the most complex part of the governance model because not all communities in the region have all the same services and/or service levels, some new desired services were identified in a community survey in 2016, and both range of services and levels of those services are directly related to taxation and economic development that positions for the future. This work also involves presenting some options for residents to consider.

Governance model details are being generated in four areas:
• Governance: Developing a governance model (boundaries/divisions) to ensure citizens are properly represented by elected officials.
• Services: Establishing uniform service choices and service levels for the region.
• Taxation and Debt: Balancing service levels with taxation levels while positioning to be attractive to investment and new families in future.
• Identity: Ensuring each community retains its unique identity under a new regional context.

After the municipal election on October 16, 2017 the following process related to the regional governance initiative will be undertaken:
• November, 2017 – orientation session for newly-elected officials. Get their feedback and/or approval of the regional governance initiative to continue.
• Spring, 2018 – Public input session(s) to present proposed regional government model details.
• FIP considers any amendments based on public feedback.
• Final Regional Governance Plan is publicized.
• Individual Councils decide how they want to proceed by making a regional governance decision (i.e. a yes or no to amalgamation).
• If there is a decision to proceed with regional governance, submit amalgamation application to Minister of Municipal Affairs. Note: A decision to amalgamate is voluntary. An application to the Minister may involve some or all of the FIP municipalities.

To arrive at this phase of the regional governance initiative, FIP has completed significant research, including the following:

1) Evaluation of regional governance models in Canada
2) A regional services survey
3) Infrastructure assessment
4) Four public open houses
5) Municipal report card of current municipal operations

Informed by this research, FIP member communities unanimously voted to pursue development of the details of a proposed single tier governance model – from a number of potential governance models considered – as a best means to position region communities for the future.

FIP is comprised of representatives from all municipalities within the Flagstaff Region: the Towns of Daysland, Hardisty, Killam and Sedgewick, the Villages of Alliance, Forestburg, Heisler and Lougheed, and Flagstaff County. More information on the FIP Regional Governance Initiative can be found at www.flagstaffunited.ca

For more information, contact:
Bob Coutts
Chair, Flagstaff Intermunicipal Partnership
Email: couttshardware@persona.ca Phone: 780-679-4721