City, M.D. reach agreement on terms of annexation

Copeland: This agreement represents the outcome of very hard work between neighbours.

The Municipal District of Bonnyville No. 87 and the City of Cold Lake have reached an agreement regarding the city’s annexation proposal.

 

The agreement sets out the terms of a joint submission to the Municipal Government Board (MGB) for the City of Cold Lake’s proposed annexation of 11 quarter sections of land from the M.D. The MGB will make the final determination on the annexation proposal.

 

“The Municipal District of Bonnyville is pleased the annexation negotiations have culminated with an agreement that met both municipalities’ concerns,” said M.D. Reeve Ed Rondeau. “M.D. Council has signed the annexation agreement to support continued growth in the region.”

 

The agreement recommends that the annexation come into effect on January 1, 2018 and that the city pay $500,000 in compensation to the M.D. once the proposed annexation comes into effect.

 

“This agreement represents the outcome of very hard work between neighbours,” Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said. “We feel that everyone’s interests were heard and respected, and we know that the result will benefit our region as it continues to grow in the years ahead.”

 

The agreement also contains measures to minimize taxation impacts on both residents and businesses located in the annexation area, if the proposal is accepted by the MGB. It sets out that, from the suggested date of the annexation to 2068, residents and businesses located in the annexation area would have their property assessed as if it were still located in the M.D., and that it would be taxed by the city using the lower tax rate established by either the city or the M.D.

 

If approved by the MGB, these measures would be applied to affected properties through the year 2068, or until a property owner subdivides the affected land, re-designates land, or connects to the city’s sewer and/or water services.

 

The annexation process began in late 2013 when City of Cold Lake Council passed a resolution to begin negotiations with the M.D. of Bonnyville to work towards a joint annexation submission. The resolution was spurred by a number of needs, including the need to accommodate growth over the next 50 years, the need to allow the City of Cold Lake to grow into a unified and sustainable urban community, and the need to gain the land necessary for the delivery of urban services to current and future residents in a cost-effective manner.

 

“We thank Reeve Rondeau and his Council for working with us on this agreement,” Copeland said. “Ultimately, we all have the future of our region in mind and I am confident the agreement reflects that fact.”

 

Additional consultation will take place with both the affected property owners and the public at large. The dates and means of consultation will be advertised once scheduled.

 

More information on the annexation proposal can be found online at the City of Cold Lake’s website, www.coldlake.com. A map of the proposed annexation area follows this press release.