Councils approve Spruce Grove annexation agreement

Council by-election will be July 8

By Councillor Wayne Rothe

Spruce Grove and Parkland councils this week both unanimously approved a memorandum of agreement for the City’s annexation of land from Parkland.

Spruce Grove council approved the MOA April 23 following Parkland’s approval April 22.

City policy stipulates that Spruce Grove have a 25-year land supply for growth. The City’s growth study in December 2016 projected that it has 22 years of residential, 26 years of commercial and 18 years of industrial land. The shortfall indicates a need for 435 hectares of developable land.

The annexation area includes a section south of Highway 16A between Century and Pioneer roads, the east half of the section south of the Shiloh area and west of Campsite Road, two quarter sections east of Campsite Road, and the remainder of the NAIT quarter section.

The two municipalities will prepare a transition plan for the annexation area. The plan will consider strategies to mitigate issues that may impact affected rural landowners and will contemplate costs that will be shed by Parkland and the loss of tax revenue.

In other business from council’s April 23 meeting….

Council appointed David Wolanski as interim city manager effective May 4 until a new city manager is appointed. The April 23 council meeting was the last for retiring City Manager Robert Cotterill. Wolanski is general manager of community and protective services and joined the City in 2013. He held a similar position in Redcliff, Alberta.

Council has received the resignation from council of MLA-elect Searle Turton, who served for 8½ years. To comply with the province’s requirement to have a by-election within 90 days of the resignation, the vote will be July 8. At least one advance poll will be held before school lets out for the summer.

Council gave first reading to the proposed City Centre Area Redevelopment Plan, which will provide a framework for the redevelopment of the city centre. The area requires major infrastructure upgrades to accommodate planned new commercial development and increases in residential densities. Several pubic consultation meetings have been held and a public hearing will LIKELY be held May 27 before council considers second and third readings.

Spruce Grove council April 23 passed its automated traffic enforcement (ATE, aka photo radar) policy, which will ensure that ATE meets provincial requirements, the City’s traffic-safety priorities and community standards. Some of the policy’s initiatives have already begun. The policy calls for the establishment of a committee with community representation to advise on safety matters and serve as a liaison to council. There will be initiatives dealing with how the ATE program is communicated.

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