Wabamun to devolve to hamlet status after viability review vote

Wabamun to devolve to hamlet status after viability review vote

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The Village of Wabamun is set to dissolve in the figurative sense and become a hamlet in 2021 after a recent viability review.


Evan J. Pretzer/U/VegetarianPhotoslop

The Village of Wabamun will soon be no more after a recent vote in the Parkland County community.

According to results posted on the Village website a viability review vote was conducted by Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs Nov. 17 and 18. Of the more than 600 people in the area – as of the 2016 census – 272 votes were cast and 242 or 89 per cent chose to devolve to the hamlet level of governance and be under the control of Parkland County. This comes in the wake of village residents campaigning for the change last year where they argued TransAlta exiting from the region led to a decline in Village reserve funds and service quality as a result.

“I thought the results would be a little bit closer but frankly I am relieved,” Wabamun Mayor Charlene Smylie said. “It is important we have this clear mandate. We are working for Jan. 1. It is quick but also the most ideal transition date with the year ending. Service delivery will change but one positive we do know is we will be a growth hamlet within the county. Wabamun will reach its goals a little faster this way.”

A summary of the review notes those who live in the area could expect increases in wastewater and garbage service costs in the hamlet category but adds the issue of council representation would be addressed through residents seeking a seat on the Parkland County Council as opposed to how it is done now. Dissolution supporter Denise Purdy added this change was inevitable given developments over the last few years and expressed optimism at having the County as a more direct partner in future developments for the Wabamun community.

“They have been really great this past year,” she said. “They actually paid for our C.A.O’s wage. In 2021 they would have to balance the budget and cost-share with the fire department. There are pro’s and con’s but there were no pro’s if we chose to remain as a village.”

The viability report is available on the provincial government’s website.

epretzer@postmedia.com

twitter.com/EvanJPretzer





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