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‘What if’ question hangs over Willow Creek MD

LAWRENCE GLEASON- GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
It was just one question during the Dec. 14 meeting of the MD of Willow Creek, but sometimes one question is the tip of an iceberg, you see or hear only the top 10 per cent while the rest is below the waterline.
Division 6 Coun. Neil Wilson asked a question of three representatives from Alberta Municipal Affairs during their presentation on the new intermunicipal governance model the government is setting down for Alberta municipalities to follow.
“Perhaps this isn’t within your scope,” Wilson began, then asked what happens if an urban municipality “that is governed to the point where it is not really sustainable” is absorbed by the rural municipality that contains it.
“The terms could be detrimental to the recipient municipality,” Wilson said. “We want to be reassured. Would they be able to work with the mediation process? Is that within your scope?”
One of the services offered by Alberta Municipal Affairs is mediation of issues between municipalities.
No names of any urban municipality were mentioned, not in Wilson’s question or the answer given by Michael Scheidl of Alberta Municipal Affairs.
Scheidl did ask Wilson in return, “I think what you’re talking about is a municipality that is undergoing a municipal review for possible dissolution?”
“That’s just a possible scenario,” Wilson said. “That is not what we are trying to do, not with that municipality or any municipality within our MD. We have good relationships with all of them.”
Of the five towns within the MD of Willow Creek, only the Town of Granum is undergoing a municipal review.
Scheidl answered by saying the intermunicipal collaboration framework the province is setting down would still work in that situation, and provide a way to deal with issues from both sides.
Scheidl said early in his career he worked with issues of municipal dissolution.

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