County and city sign airport MOU

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November 18, 2014 9:38 AM

County of Vermilion River Reeve Darryl Watt and City of Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders signed an MOU at the Lloydminster Municipal Airport last week. - Christopher W. Brown Photo

Future growth at the city’s municipal airport is getting some help, after last week’s memorandum of understanding signed by County of Vermilion River Reeve Darryl Watt and City of Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders.

Saunders said that the announcement is exciting and will benefit everyone in the city the county of Vermilion River.

“We are very excited to work with our neighbors in the County of Vermilion River and the surrounding municipalities, on the growth of the airport,” he said.

Watt said that the MOU sets up a process that the city and the county will work on to expand the airport for future growth.

“This MOU has set up the process for starting talks on a regional airport,” he said.

Watt added that it is just the first step in a process that will look at a number of factors at the airport.

“The biggest thing, (from a county perspective) is protecting the land for more development. If the county, and the city don’t set aside the land for airport use, then it could potentially be used and developed in another manner,” Watt said.

“That wouldn’t serve the needs of the airport.”

As to what benefits the county will see in this new MOU, the reeve said the discussions around this project will be about expanding the partnership between the two governments.

“We all need this regional airport to serve both communities and the region.”

Saunders said benefits to the city of Lloydminster over the signing will be about the potential growth that the airport will see over the next few years.

“It will be about protecting the lands around the airport, in order to be sure it’s used for airport use,” he said.

Saunders added that the MOU is also another step in the city’s strategic plan in growth.

“In our strategic plan, we want to attract people and business to Lloydminster, to ensure our economic growth in our future,” he said.

“We also want to be connecting right across the country and globally. This airport ensures us of those positive growth initiatives.”

Watt said that the run-off to the expansion will not only benefit the county and the city of Lloydminster, but a much larger area as well.

“I mean, this can benefit as far north as Bonnyville, and far south as Provost, and even out into Saskatchewan as well,” he said.

Watt said that the County of Vermilion River needs this MOU to go well in order to grow the economic benefits of a regional airport.

Initial talks about the expansion of the city airport began over six months ago.

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