MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – The Town of Olds and Mountain View County (MVC) have officially adopted an intermunicipal collaboration framework (ICF), which will guide future cooperation between the municipalities in areas such as service delivery.
Olds and Mountain View County councillors gathered in county chambers on Jan. 8 to pass resolutions instructing their respective administrations to notify the minister of municipal affairs that the ICF is complete.
The recently updated Municipal Government Act requires that ICFs be put in place by neighbouring municipalities.
The ICF between Olds and MVC provides direction to the municipalities on determining how services are delivered, including regarding fire protection, recreation, libraries and other things.
It also determines funding mechanisms for those services, dispute resolution, capital project planning, and other issues of mutual interest.
The new Olds-MVC ICF replaces the former memorandum of agreement between the municipalities.
Under the recently passed provincial Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act and unlike the former memorandum of agreement, ICFs no longer have to address a list of services and are only required to address services that benefit residents in more than one municipality.
During the Jan. 8 meeting in council chambers, MVC reeve Bruce Beattie said the agreement “lays the foundation for future collaboration” between the neighbhouring municipalities.
“An agreement that spans election cycles ensures long-term planning, providing our residents and businesses with a predictable and stable policy environment,” said Beattie.
“This document formally lays the foundation for continuing a partnership that is essential in order to meet the challenges that we face during these volatile economic times.”
Olds mayor Michael Muzychka said the passing of the resolution “signifies the continuation of the strong and important relationship we have with Mountain View County.
“This relationship strengthens our region and the service we provide to our residents.”
An intermunicipal cooperation committee made up of town and county councillors, assisted by town and county staff, formulated the ICF.
County councillor Al Kemmere called the new framework a good step forward.
“I believe Mountain View County and Olds lead the way in what collaboration really is,” said Kemmere, whose Division 7 includes the immediate Olds area. “This is a result of that. I’m quite proud of the fact that we have success and success that will be measured in the future by others.”
Following the passing of the resolutions, Beattie and Muzychka provided further comment on the ICF being put in place.
“We can see the advantages of working with our urban partners,” said Beattie. “We come a long way in this process in understanding the challenges we face together. We realize that we can meet the challenges when we work together.”
Muzychka said the ICF will “best serve all the residents in the area. It is a great agreement.”
He commended town and county staff for their work on the ICF process.
The county is working on formulating ICFs with Carstairs, Didsbury and Sundre, said Beattie, noting that one is already in place with the Village of Cremona.