Hus­sar vi­a­bil­ity re­view on hold for mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

A vi­a­bil­ity re­view for the Vil­lage of Hus­sar has been sus­pended as the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion looms near.

The Vil­lage re­quested the Min­is­ter of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs to com­plete a vi­a­bil­ity re­view in the sum­mer of 2015. As de­fined by the Min­istry, a vi­a­bil­ity re­view is a process where a mu­nic­i­pal­ity's gov­er­nance, fi­nances, in­fras­truc­ture, and ser­vices are re­viewed to de­ter­mine whether changes are re­quired for the com­mu­nity to re­main vi­able.

Mayor Tim Frank tells TheMail, the sus­pen­sion of the re­view is the nor­mal course of the process when an elec­tion falls in the same timetable of a re­view.

“It has been put off un­til the end of the elec­tion, by min­is­te­rial or­der,” said Frank. “It is the same with ev­ery one of the vi­a­bil­ity stud­ies in the prov­ince. It just takes a lit­tle un­cer­tainty out of the elec­tions.”

While a vi­a­bil­ity re­view typ­i­cally takes about a year, Hus­sar has been go­ing on now for about two.

“Our in­fras­truc­ture study took a long time. We are ba­si­cally wait­ing on the re­sults of a few fi­nal things to fin­ish the in­fras­truc­ture re­port,” he said.

A vi­a­bil­ity re­view is not a dis­so­lu­tion study, but a strat­egy to im­prove longterm vi­a­bil­ity. A team was as­sem­bled with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Min­istry, the Vil­lage of Hus­sar, Wheat­land County, and mu­nic­i­pal as­so­ci­a­tions. Through­out the process, there are the con­sul­ta­tions with the com­mu­nity. The vil­lage ini­ti­ated the in­fras­truc­ture re­view in early 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, if a mu­nic­i­pal­ity is trend­ing to­wards vi­a­bil­ity, the re­view will be con­cluded. If it is trend­ing to­wards non-vi­a­bil­ity, the process moves into its sec­ond phase.

This phase in­cludes a vi­a­bil­ity plan and typ­i­cally comes down to two op­tions. These in­clude re­main­ing as a mu­nic­i­pal­ity, but mak­ing changes into the way the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is gov­erned or ad­min­is­tered, or to be dis­solved into an ad­ja­cent mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

It states, “If coun­cil votes in favour of dis­so­lu­tion, a pub­lic vote is held by min­istry staff to de­ter­mine the com­mu­nity's pref­er­ence on the op­tions pre­sented.”

Cur­rently, there are 10 com­mu­ni­ties in the prov­ince un­der­go­ing a vi­a­bil­ity re­view.

Frank ex­pects the process will wrap up around the end of the year or early in 2018.

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