Updated: Rocky Mountain House pursuing amalgamation talks with neighbouring municipalities

Rocky Mountain House council made motion to start amalgamation talks in special council meeting

Rocky Mountain House town council has voted to begin what could prove contentious amalgamation talks with Clearwater County and the Village of Caroline.

In a special council meeting on Thursday, Rocky Mountain House council unanimously voted to “support the initiation of amalgamation discussions as part of current negotiations already underway between the three municipalities.”

Council also supports a joint application from the three municipalities for an Alberta Community Partnership grant to “facilitate the amalgamation discussions.”

Caroline Mayor John Rimmer said he was not aware of the special council meeting and was taken aback by Rocky council’s move.

Rimmer said the three municipalities have a number of joint agreements that have come up for renewal and negotiations have been ongoing for some time. Amalgamation has come up in talks but no serious discussion has taken place.

“To me, it looks like they’re trying to force it,” he said. “I just think what they’re doing is not appropriate.”

Rimmer said he doubted Clearwater County would look favourably on the town’s move either.

“I’m not saying I don’t see (amalgamation) as the way to go in the future. But I question the way they are going about this.”

Amalgamations are similar to merger of companies in the business world, he said. “But a merger is usually favoured by all those involved.”

Clearwater County chief administrative officer Rick Emmons offered a short statement when asked for comment.

“Clearwater County is committed to the mediation process and working through our regional agreements.”

Rocky Mountain House Mayor Tammy Burke also offered a statement on Thursday evening.

“The Town of Rocky Mountain House values our partnerships with our neighbouring municipalities, and we understand that residents are asking for efficient, responsible government,” she says in an email.

“By initiating a discussion on amalgamation, we will be able to explore the best options for our community as a whole.”

A number of Alberta municipalities have amalgamated over the years.

Most recently, Lac La Biche and Lakeland County joined to become Lac La Biche County in 2007. In the 1990s, amalgamations created the Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Drumheller, Crowsnest Pass and Cold Lake also saw amalgamations in that decade.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cold snap impacting vehicle batteries

One Red Deer car battery store has been very busy during this… Continue reading

Red Deer city council to discuss proposed rezoning for women’s shelter expansion

A city-owned lot next door would be needed for the project

Potential policing changes to be discussed by Red Deer city councillors on Tuesday

Councillors have questions regarding the latest policing review

Highway 2 lanes to be closed next week for guardrail and cable barrier repairs

Repair work will take place Monday to Thursday between Milton and 32nd Street overpasses

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 16 Red Deer Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society monthly meeting… Continue reading

POLL: Have you had trouble starting your vehicle’s engine during this week’s cold snap?

Have you had trouble starting your vehicle’s engine during this week’s cold… Continue reading

Drury leads host Canadian ski cross team into chilly World Cup at Nakiska

NAKISKA, Alta. — It’s too cold for penguins, but not for ski… Continue reading

Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay

TOKYO — The Olympic rings have arrived in Tokyo. They sailed into… Continue reading

Eminem drops surprise album, advocates changes to gun laws

Rapper Eminem once again dropped a surprise album, releasing “Music to Be… Continue reading

Royal rift: UK monarchy will look smaller when dust settles

LONDON — Prince Charles, the future king, has long been seen as… Continue reading

Rittich’s 35-save performance powers Flames past Leafs in a shootout

Flames 2 Leafs 1 (SO) TORONTO — Matthew Tkachuk scored the only… Continue reading

More than 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

OTTAWA — The number of people intercepted by the RCMP as they… Continue reading

Most Read