Heated Stettler annexation dispute resolved

The Town and County of Stettler have ended a long-running annexation dispute.

STETTLER — The Town and County of Stettler have ended a long-running annexation dispute.

A joint memorandum of understanding outlining how each municipality will grow in the future was unveiled at a news conference in Stettler on Monday. The agreement, reached with help from a provincially appointed mediator, sets aside 14 quarter sections of short- and long-term growth areas for the town.

The town plans to begin the annexation process soon for six quarter sections of county land considered in the short-term growth area, said town officials. Ten quarter sections of growth area have also been set aside for the county to accommodate business and residential developments.

The memorandum offers a compromise from the town’s original proposal. County officials were shocked in February 2007 when a town growth study recommended taking 25 quarter sections of county land to sustain town growth for the next 60 years.

A consultant hired by the county determined the town already had enough land within its boundaries. The county offered two quarter sections.

Talks broke off in August 2007. Mediated talks began in early 2008.

Both communities now plan to begin work on an intermunicipal development plan to map out future growth. The 10-year plan will be reviewed every year.

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