There is a tentative deal in place between Bonnyville, the M.D. of Bonnyville, City of Cold Lake, and Village of Glendon for a long-term agreement on ID 349, the industrial tax revenues from the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.
This comes after the Minister of Municipal Affairs Kaycee Madu called for a long-term sustainable solution to the usually contentious issue when releasing the 2019 money to the municipalities and removing Fishing Lake and Elizabeth Metis Settlement from the arrangement.
The leaders of Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Glendon, and the M.D. of Bonnyville came together for an informal meeting last week to discuss the next steps of ID 349, and Reeve Greg Sawchuk said on The Morning After there is an agreement.
“I can say this morning that we have all parties signed off on a tentative agreement,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk who organized the meeting.
“So probably myself and the CAO [Luc Mercier] are going to be going around to all of the municipalities to get their signature on what we are going to be submitting to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. And if he likes what he sees and adopts it as is, it is going to be a big win for the region.
“I think it’s going to ensure the viability, sustainability, of not only the city, the town, and Glendon– and for the M.D., we’re glad that we were able to take part and help to broker the deal.”
Terms of the agreement are not yet known and likely won’t until the Minister gives the approval on the deal.
These municipalities, who have been stakeholders since 2017, saw the 2019 money released months later than they anticipated in May.
Cold Lake received just over $16 million, Bonnyville got nearly a $3 million bump to $7.5 million, the M.D. of Bonnyville is receiving $2.2 million towards road maintenance to the Air Weapons Range, and the Village of Glendon is receiving nearly $1.5 million.
Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said he’s excited.
“We’re really excited because we want to put that money to use and get this area going again. And it certainly is a pot of money that we can use to build out our infrastructure and things that we desperately need to do in our community,” said Copeland.
Bonnyville Mayor Gene Sobolewski said however there’s still a lot of concern.
“We’ve had a meeting and essentially what’s happening is pursuant to the minister’s directions. There is dialogue and discussion that’s happening in concurrence with that. There’s still a lot of concern, there’s still some things…that the minister’s decision is the minister’s decision and that’s what we work with. And hopefully, we’ll be able to try and put this to rest here.”