City to withdraw from Joint Growth Study

By Jessica Dempsey

November 16, 2017 11:22 AM

Mayor Gerald Aalbers. File Photo

The City of Lloydminster has withdrawn from participating in the “Joint Growth Study” with the County of Vermilion River.
In 2015 the city was approached by the County of Vermilion River to participate in the Joint Growth Study, and both the city and county retained a consultant and agreed upon the methodology.
“One of the challenges was it only dealt with the Alberta side of the city. So, based on those kinds of things, discussions with our rural neighbours on the east as well as the information we are seeing the direction from the Government of Alberta talking about going to a 50–year expectation, we felt it would be (in the) best interest to provide a complete city overview,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers,  noting the two provinces that Lloydminster crosses, as well as the three municipalities which border the city.
In 2013 the city completed a comprehensive Growth Strategy, which led to the notice of intent to annex lands in 2014.
The city’s plan now is to update that Growth Strategy document to a 50-year horizon.
“It’s very challenging to know what’s going to happen next year, let alone in 50 years, but by doing some advanced planning we can do a better job, we believe, of laying out the city, streets, avenues and development be it residential, commercial or industrial,” explained Aalbers.
The cost to update the comprehensive Growth Strategy is estimated to be $75,000. The cost spent on the joint study, however, was not available.
Nearly a month ago, city council approved administration to review an appeal in regards to an auto dealership development, which was approved by the county.
Aalbers said the review had nothing to do with this decision.
“I had a chance to speak to the reeve of the County of Vermilion River and explained exactly what we talked about; we see the value of bringing them information when we sit down and discuss annexation, and he was totally understanding of that,” he said.
The joint study had been ongoing and had not set a finishing date, and by updating the Growth Strategy, he said a time can now be set.
“The estimate I understand is six to nine months, but I don’t have that firm today,” said Aalbers.

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