There seems to be kind of a common perception in the community that the councils of the City and County don't get along and that we are "constantly butting heads" and that there are personality issues that get in the way of the two working together.
It's actually not true.
Sure, there are lots of areas where we disagree or where we come at ideas with different philosophies but that's to be expected when you are dealing with two groups of people. There are also many situations where the system of local government created by the Province of Alberta puts us at odds - both municipalities have to rely on property taxes for their main source of revenue so it's no surprise that we are both concerned with maximizing this revenue and what is built in our boundaries.
In reality we have tons of agreements in place between the two municipalities and most of those are working just fine. There are also issues that we tackle together.
The media release from the most recent meeting between the two councils (yesterday):
August 15, 2007
City and County of Grande Prairie representatives met Wednesday to discuss
several planning and infrastructure issues as part of their ongoing inter-municipal dialogue. These included:
1. Aquatics & Wellness Center Presentation
The City reviewed project details and provided a progress update on the
2. Lougheed Annexation Request
Representatives of the two municipalities discussed an application to the City by a County resident wanting to have land annexed to the City. This is located within the Inter-Municipal Development Plan (IDP) and was previously identified as a future growth area for Grande Prairie.
3. IDP Review
Discussion ensued from the City’s correspondence regarding the IDP review agreed to earlier. Councils discussed next steps in the process. The IDP is a statutory planning document between the County and the City that identifies future City growth areas and provides a framework for the resolution of planning, economic development, servicing and transportation issues.
4. City/County Pound Update
This project will be tendered shortly with completion of the facility expected by 2008. The pound will be located next to the current SPCA facility in the City of Grande Prairie. This will enable staff from the three agencies to work together.
5. Transportation/Truck Routes
Councils discussed the need to improve truck routes in the immediate vicinity of Grande Prairie.
6. Trades Training Centre
Councils agreed to collaborate on encouraging a trades training centre in Grande Prairie.
7. Containerization Site
The County provided a status update on the proposed rail container site to be located in the vicinity of Four Mile Corner.
8. Fire Agreement
Councils discussed possible extension to the current fire agreement that expires December 31, 2008.
On that last point .... out of this the City will have a special Protective Services meeting next Tuesday to consider the county's response to our offer to extend the contract for fire protection. This extension will hopefully give us time to coordinate an integrated fire service for the whole region rather than setting up independent fire departments.