Two Foothills towns are closer to uniting as Municipal Affairs is reviewing the proposal and aims for an early 2022 decision.
Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver sent a letter to the mayors of Black Diamond and Turner Valley — Brendan Kelly and Barry Crane, respectively.
“I appreciate the hard work of both town councils and administrations to date,” McIver wrote.
“Your collaborative effort to develop the report is commendable, and you have demonstrated how local councils can lead this process of amalgamation exploration voluntarily, proactively and in good faith.”
Next steps include a meeting between the minister and both town councils to discuss the proposed amalgamation.
“Following a discussion with the towns’ newly elected councils, I will be pleased to confirm my decision regarding the amalgamation application and next steps,” the minister said.
Black Diamond and Turner Valley administration and the ministry will organize a future date and time for this meeting.
The minister’s press secretary, Greg Smith, said once the review and discussions are complete, a formalized decision will be brought to the cabinet for approval.
“The towns have requested an effective date of Jan. 1, 2023, with a municipal election for the new municipality to take place shortly before,” Smith said.
The final decision about the merger will likely be made in early 2022, Smith said.
Turner Valley’s council acknowledged the letter in their Dec. 15 meeting.
“It was so nice to actually get word back from them,” said Crane. “We’ll have more to follow in the coming months.”