The Town of Rocky Mountain House has received a $200,000 grant to explore municipal restructuring, but it would appear negotiations could prove prickly.
The town says the provinical grant allows it to conduct a municipal regional governance restructuring study that also considers Clearwater County and the Village of Caroline.
“This grant allows us to explore the best options for our regional community. Ultimately, these are community decisions and residents will have opportunity to participate in the discussions,” said Mayor Tammy Burke.
Council will discuss the first steps to initiating the study at its Aug. 18 meeting.
Clearwater County says it is disappointed its own restructuring study grant was rejected, however.
The county says Rocky Mountain House’s application was not supported by the county or the Village of Caroline.
“Our residents have spoken loud and clear and they are not interested in amalgamation with the town,” said Reeve Timothy Hoven.
“While we are continuously looking to maximize efficiencies by partnering with neighbouring municipalities, the county is not interested in opening talks with a third municipality that are not supported by the participants.”
In December 2019, town council unanimously agreed to initiate discussions on regionalization with Clearwater County and the Village of Caroline.
The town said it was notified of its successful grant application Wednesday.
“By engaging a professional municipal consultant to explore restructuring options, our three municipalities will have sound evidence to inform decisions about future regional governance, service delivery and/or amalgamation,” the town said in a statement.
It noted the town has 11 inter-municipal agreements with the other two parties that govern essential and recreational service delivery to residents.