Bound­aries chal­lenged

Mon­tague draws new line in sand

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE PROVINCE - BY STEVE SHAR­RATT

Town coun­cil may sup­port re­gional amal­ga­ma­tion, but it wants to draw new lines in the sand when it comes to the pro­posed bound­aries.

The town is­sued a state­ment Wed­nes­day say­ing it op­poses the pro­posed bound­aries of the Phil Wood re­port and will no longer par­tic­i­pate in the dis­cus­sions or the up­com­ing meet­ing on amal­ga­ma­tion slated for Jan. 29.

“Be as­sured that Mon­tague town coun­cil sup­ports the amal­ga­ma­tion of ar­eas of in­ter­est, but we feel that the fire district is the area that would best serve this pur­pose,” said chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Andy Daggett.

The process of amal­ga­ma­tion is be­ing con­sid­ered fol­low­ing the re­lease of the $30,000 Phil Wood Re­port — Stronger To­gether, Build­ing a Sus­tain­able Fu­ture for the Three Rivers re­gion.

That re­port rec­om­mends the amal­ga­ma­tion of seven dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties along with a num­ber of un­in­cor­po­rated ar­eas that would stretch from Lorne Val­ley to Pan­mure Is­land and cre­ate a re­gion of more than 8,000 peo­ple.

The com­mu­ni­ties in­volved in the pro­posed cre­ation of Three Rivers would be Ge­orge­town, Cardi­gan, Lorne Val­ley, Bru­denell, Mon­tague, Val­ley­field and Lower Mon­tague. The fire district amal­ga­ma­tion sought by the town would leave out Cardi­gan and Ge­orge­town, which have their own fire de­part­ments, and Lorne Val­ley.

“I be­lieve we would be stronger to­gether than apart, how­ever, the area pro­posed in the study is far too broad in my opin­ion,” rookie coun­cil­lor Daphne Grif­fin told The Guardian.

Daggett said the bound­aries of the Mon­tague fire district make much more sense for a new mu­nic­i­pal­ity since there is an ex­ist­ing “com­mu­nity of in­ter­est”.

“I be­lieve it’s best for us to go with the fire district bound­aries,’’ Deputy Mayor David Mabon told The Guardian.

The Mon­tague fire district ex­ceeds the cri­te­ria of 4,000 peo­ple and $200 mil­lion in as­sessed value as out­lined by the govern­ment as a re­quire­ment. The Mon­tague fire district con­sists of Mon­tague, Bru­denell, Val­ley­field and Lower Mon­tague and nu­mer­ous un­in­cor­po­rated ar­eas.

“Coun­cil feels that com­bin­ing the cit­i­zens in the fire district would be in the best in­ter­est of the town, and the area, and that it serves no pur­pose to con­tinue dis­cus­sions on the district as out­lined in the Phil Wood re­port,” said Daggett.

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