Town, county agreement presented

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The Inter-municipal Cooperation Master Agreement was scheduled to be presented for council approval yesterday afternoon.

If passed, the Town of Olds and Mountain View County would next hold a joint council meeting on Jan. 25 to sign the document. That would be the first step toward negotiating a new deal between the two municipalities on how they will manage growth, land use, and provide access to facilities and services.

“It took us a year to build. It took a lot of discussion to make sure we were able to read and review Mountain View County’s budget. They read and reviewed the Town of Olds budget. We came to a common ground of what we felt we needed to work on,” said Olds mayor Judy Dahl.

The current inter-municipal cooperation between Olds and Mountain View County expires at the end of this year. The county gave notice in September 2014 that it would not renew the memorandum of agreement signed with the town in 2007.

The master agreement before council this week carries a nine-year term. It would be automatically renewed for another four years unless one party gives notice to terminate it or if there is a replacement agreement in place.

It lays out the parameters for how Olds and Mountain View County will work toward common goals.

“It’s a significant step towards how we’re going to develop our region together to benefit ratepayers in both municipalities,” said chief operating officer Doug Wagstaff.

“The line you cross when you come into the Town of Olds really is only a political line. Our communities are joint, so now it’s going to be two municipalities, politically, working together in that joint community.”

Parties would also agree to create a joint capital plan by July 2017, in addition to their own individual ones.

They would also create a “jointly managed and funded” capital reserve for facilities and infrastructure.

Specific tradeoffs would come through the many sub-agreements – yet to come — that flow from this one, including: land use planning, economic development, parks and recreation, airports, libraries, Family and Community Support Services, cemeteries, agriculture services, solid waste and recycling, joint asset management and fire, disaster and protective services.

“Sub-agreements will be the meat of the pie,” Dahl said.

jho@olds.greatwest.ca

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