Questions surrounding what amalgamation could look like for Black Diamond and Turner Valley will soon be answered.
The Towns are hosting an online public meeting July 22 for an hour each at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to present information regarding the Towns' negotiations and financial breakdown of how amalgamation could impact the communities, says Turner Valley Mayor Barry Crane.
“I will do the background and history and how we got to where we are and Ruth (Goodwin, Black Diamond mayor) will handle the reports section," said Crane. "Members of the finance committee will be available to answer questions for both Towns if there’s specific questions for a particular town that can be answered by their councillors or administration.”
Crane said councillors and senior administrators in both communities will attend the virtual meetings.
“These towns have been great partners since their formation and have been talking about amalgamation for over 40 years,” said Crane. “It’s great to finally have the answers.”
The neighbouring municipalities explored amalgamation twice in the past 35 years, but the idea was voted down in a plebiscite both times - most recently in 2007.
The Towns submitted a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs last fall about their intention to formally enter into amalgamation negotiations. If the Towns decide to proceed, a report and application for amalgamation will be submitted in September.
As the information is provided in a slide show on July 22, attendees can ask questions using the chat window, Crane said.
“All questions will be answered and if they can’t be answered right there and then they will be followed up and answered,” he said. “The town administration will find a factual answer and sent it to them and it will be added to the Town website for questions asked. No question gets unanswered and no question gets left behind. All of that information will be sent to municipal affairs as part of the public engagement process.”
Crane said he hopes to see more than 100 people attend each session, adding that amalgamation has been a hot topic in recent years.
“For all the people that I talk to, they say it should have been done years ago and are thankful we got to this point and are really excited to see the final answers financially,” he said. “This is something they’re passionate about."
Crane said both meetings will cover the same information and asks the public to attend only one to ensure there’s ample room for everyone wanting to attend. The meetings will be recorded and posted on both Town websites.
To register click here.