Partnership will reduce cost to hear appeals

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County and the Town of High Prairie will join an inter-municipal subdivision and development appeal board.

At its regular meeting Jan. 9, county council adopted a bylaw to create the regional board.

Big Lakes will work with the towns of High Prairie, Swan Hills and Slave Lake in the partnership.

“During inter-municipal collaboration framework discussions with the county’s neighbouring municipalities, an inter-municipal subdivision and development appeal board for our region was suggested,” says Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

The bylaw proposes each municipality appoint three members and one clerk.

“It ensures that there will be group of 12 fully trained members and four clerks to serve four municipalities with subdivision and development appeals when required,” Olansky says.

“It would be a reduced cost and less of a burden on each municipality.”

She says local municipalities struggle to recruit board members who require training under the Municipal Government Act.

“We meet so rarely for an appeal,” Olansky says.

“All 12 members would not be present to hear an appeal,” Olanksy says.

Instead, the agreement would allow for a panel of minimum of five members.

Each municipality would pay for its board members’ travel costs and honouraria to attend a hearing.

The agreement will be reviewed after one year.

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