by Colin Smith
Funding recreational services was the focus of discussion when negotiating teams from the Town of Morinville and Sturgeon County had their third meeting to discuss an Inter-municipal Collaboration Framework (ICF).
Neighbouring municipalities are mandated by the Municipal Government Act to negotiate an ICF is to provide for the integrated and strategic planning, delivery and funding of inter-municipal services, efficient use of resources and ensuring municipalities contribute funding to services that benefit their residents.
According to a joint release from the Town and County, the negotiators reviewed a list of the operational and capital costs related to funding recreational services for the residents of their communities.
Barriers, constraints and opportunities associated with achieving a mutually beneficial agreement were also discussed.
“Positive progress has been made with a focus on mutual benefit for residents of both municipalities and the development of key principles to guide negotiations,” said Mayor Barry Turner. “The discussions have been productive, and each party has approached the talks with open minds and in good faith.”
Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw said agendas and timing of discussions are being treated strategically, with priority given to topics the province has said must be dealt in the ICF. Deadline for the agreement is April 1.
“We are also giving careful consideration to the opportunity for efficiencies that the Government of Alberta hasn’t mandated, but that both communities can benefit from,” said Hnatiw.
Morinville is represented at the negotiations by Mayor Barry Turner and Councillors Nicole Boutestein and Stephen Dafoe. Mayor Alanna Hnatiw, Deputy Mayor Patrick D. Tighe and Councillor Karen Shaw are representing Sturgeon County.
The first meeting between Morinville and Sturgeon County took place January 21.