Question: Which municipalities are looking at regionalization?
Answer: Village of Rosemary, Village of Duchess, Town of Bassano, County of Newell and City of Brooks
Question: What does regionalization mean?
Answer: Regionalization can take on many forms along a continuum of formalization as follows:
- Paying a municipality for providing services in another municipality on an as needed basis
- Agreements where one municipality provides a service to another on an ongoing basis
- Agreements between municipalities where they share both the provision and cost of providing a service
- Regional services commissions or corporations that provide a municipal service semi-autonomously from the municipal councils
- A formal amalgamation where the municipalities become one.
Question: Why would a municipality want to explore different opportunities for providing services regionally?
Answer: This is to help ensure that our regions’ municipalities are providing services to its citizens as efficiently and effectively as possible. Municipal boundaries are imaginary lines that when adhered to may result in duplication and reduce economy of scale opportunities.
Question: What is the benefit to amalgamate?
Answer: Amalgamation would provide for the opportunity to take advantage of economies of scale, reduce duplication, ensure sustainability of our region, and to promote our region as one incorporating the advantages of all communities.
Question: Which municipality will benefit the most from amalgamation?
Answer: The purpose of amalgamation is to make the entire region stronger benefiting all citizens.
Question: What will this do to my taxes?
Answer: The regionalization working group is guided by the premise that taxes should not increase for anyone due to an Amalgamation. It is anticipated that amalgamation has the potential to free up $8 million to $12 million dollars annually after an initial transition period.
Question: What if one or more of the municipalities do not want to amalgamate?
Answer: Each municipality will have to make its own decision with input from its citizens as to whether or not they wish to amalgamate. If there are municipalities that do not want to amalgamate, then the remaining municipalities will have to determine whether they wish to proceed.
Question: How will residents be kept informed through this process?
Answer: The working group meets monthly and has committed to putting out a news release after every meeting. In addition, they are holding at least two sets of open houses around the region. The first set is to solicit feedback. After the first set, the working group will develop strategies to address each concern raised during the open houses. Another round of public consultations will then occur to present these strategies. Following this, future direction will be determined and communicated. The working group is committed to being open and transparent throughout the process.
Question: Are there other examples of amalgamated municipalities in Alberta?
Answer: Yes. Some of the other amalgamated areas include Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Mackenzie County. Even within the County of Newell, Tilley is now part of the County although the process in this case was a dissolution instead of amalgamation.
Question: Will I be adequately represented on the council if amalgamation occurs?
Answer: The final representation will not be decided until a decision has been made to move forward with amalgamation. An amalgamated municipality would have representation from all areas of the newly created municipality.