Hus­sar res­i­dents pon­der fu­ture

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The long and thor­ough process of as­sess­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of the Vil­lage of Hus­sar has taken the next step and is now in the Min­is­ter of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs’ hands as to whether the res­i­dents of Hus­sar will vote to re­main a vil­lage or be­come part of Wheat­land County.

In the fall of 2014, the Vil­lage re­quested the Min­istry un­der­take a Vi­a­bil­ity Study, and in June of 2015, it be­gan in earnest. A Vi­a­bil­ity Re­view Team was struck. Its goals are to eval­u­ate the strengths of the Vil­lage, de­velop a vi­a­bil­ity plan for Hus- sar, en­gage res­i­dents, prop­erty own­ers and stake­hold­ers and pro­vide feed­back to Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs.

The team com­pleted its re­port and last month pre­sented it to Vil­lage res­i­dents. It lays out op­tions faced by Hus­sar if it were to re­main a vil­lage and op­tions if it were to dis­solve and be­come a part of Wheat­land County.

Mayor of Hus­sar Tim Frank says it is a very pos­i­tive re­port. “I am pretty con­fi­dent that ev­ery­thing will work out okay,’ said Frank. “Our peo­ple had ques­tions, so we chose to go

Tim Frank... Mayor of Hus­sar Con­tin­ued on Page 3 See Hus­sar

through the study to ad­dress those ques­tions and put it to bed fi­nally.”

He ex­plains that Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs will be tak­ing com­ments from res­i­dents of Hus­sar and stake­hold­ers un­til July 19. After that, the Min­is­ter will de­cide whether there should be a vote for dis­so­lu­tion.

“The Min­is­ter could just say, ‘with 190 res­i­dents, we just can’t make it,’ and if he does that, then it would go to a vote. I am re­ally con­fi­dent that if it does go to a vote that most peo­ple will say ‘stay the way you are.’”

The re­port lays out key in­di­ca­tors of vi­a­bil­ity in­clud­ing ac­cu­mu­lated deficit, ra­tio of as­sets to li­a­bil­i­ties and over­all it shows pos­i­tive num­bers in­clud­ing growth in pop­u­la­tion and a strong non-res­i­den­tial as­sess­ment base.

“Our to­tal debt for the vil­lage is only about $54,000, that is like a small car,” said Frank.

One pos­i­tive out­come al­ready since the or­der­ing of the study is the Vil­lage was able to se­cure a grant to as­sess the vil­lage’s en­tire in­fra­struc­ture and de­velop a 10-year plan to ad­dress emer­gent in­fra­struc­ture needs.

“Now we know ev­ery inch of ev­ery pipe and we have a plan to fix it all, and a plan that prob­a­bly won’t in­volve tak­ing out any deben­tures what­so­ever,” said Frank. “We prob­a­bly ad­dressed three-quar­ters of the is­sues the in­fra­struc­ture group flagged as they were hap­pen­ing. We were su­per proac­tive.” He is cau­tiously con­fi­dent. “Peo­ple want to re­main a vil­lage, they want con­trol, they want some­one they can flag down on the street to talk to,” he said.

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