Big Lakes, Smoky River building partnership

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A new partnership is taking shape between Big Lakes County in High Prairie and the M.D. of Smoky River based in Falher.

At its regular meeting Sept. 11, county council gave first reading to a bylaw for an Inter-municipal Collaboration Framework for the two municipalities.

The Alberta Municipal Government Act requires all municipalities develop an ICF with all municipalities that share common borders, says a report from Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

The bylaw identifies services provided by both municipalities, which services are best shared and how services can be provided on an inter-municipal basis will be delivered and funded.

“Both municipalities have a history of working together to provide municipal services to residents on an inter-municipal basis,” Olansky says.

Those include emergency services, road and bridge projects, gravel resources, recreation services at Little Smoky Ski Area, library services and social housing.

“We have been working on these together,” Olansky says.

Big Lakes and Smoky River councils agree that each municipality will continue to provide various services independently.

Services include water and wastewater, emergency services, recreation, transportation, solid waste, transportation, municipal administration, agricultural services, pest control, weed control, animal control, property assessment service, bylaw enforcement and information technology.

The ICF was prepared by Vicinia Planning and Engagement Inc. through a grant to the M.D. of Smoky River.

No issues were raised during the public engagement process, Olansky says.

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