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Town of Olds staff working on red tape reduction

Chief administrative officer says more red tape will be cut in the future but a good start has already been made
mvt michael-merritt
Olds chief administrative officer Michael Merritt says more red tape will be cut in the future, but that a good start has already been made. File photo

OLDS — Premier Jason Kenney has called on municipalities to do whatever they can to eliminate “red tape” -- rules and bureaucracy that are believed to unnecessarily hinder the development and growth of businesses.

Municipalities are being asked to report to the Alberta government on steps they’re taking to reduce red tape and encourage private sector investment.

During town council’s Oct. 5 policies and priorities meeting, chief administrative officer Michael Merritt said staff are working on that.

“We have talked about it as a council and we will be talking about it in our budgetary process,” Merritt said.

He said the COVID-19 lockdown has especially spurred those efforts and has resulted in changes like enabling people to send more applications in to the town online.

“We certainly encourage red tape reduction where we can find it and I think we can find it in a number of places,” he said.

On the other hand, Merritt said Olds made a lot of progress in red tape reduction a long time ago, through initiatives like greater collaboration with Mountain View County.

“We were one of the first to have an intermunicipal collaboration framework put in place and that basically does help reduce the amount of paperwork that we have to do as a town and what we have to submit to our province as well,” Merritt said.

“We started to make those adjustments. Will there be more in the future? Absolutely. But I think we will be able to report on our program that we have made some reductions to red tape in the Town of Olds.”