Lloydminster is moving towards easier annexation negotiations with its neighbour. A new agreement between the City of Lloydminster and the County of Vermilion River is intended to pave the way for long-term regional growth and attract economic opportunities.
During their respective council meetings on Monday, April 8, both parties approved a Memorandum of Understanding for collaborative inter-municipal development services. These allow for development to happen on lands located in the approved Intermunicipal Development Plan Area (IDP). Mayor Gerald Aalbers celebrates the adoption of the MOU as a step towards mutually beneficial negotiations.
“As the city and county consider growth and development needs over the next several years, it is important our respective plans are harmonious and non-obstructive. Our mutual adoption of this MOU, and earlier the IDP, demonstrate a genuine commitment to creating fair and equitable growth plans of regional benefit,” says Aalbers.
In the MOU, the county has agreed to support the future annexation of developmental lands, and in exchange, Lloydminster will provide utility servicing. Each party also committed to further discussion on a new IDP and development of an Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework agreement. County of Vermilion River Reeve Dale Swyripa says the framework established through the MOU ensures the interests of both parties will be considered in future land deliberations.
“Both parties have come to the table in the spirit of fairness and cooperation, which allows for more expedient, effective growth and development. As we seek ways to bolster our local economy, it is important municipal neighbours work together to remove and mitigate barriers to new investment,” says Swyripa.
Mayor Aalbers hopes that the negotiations will come to an uncontested annexation application, and anticipates it may be a long process. The IDP was created in 2008 for establishing a regional framework for attracting economic opportunities, managing land use, subdivision and development of lands identified in the IDP. It’s also meant for identifying future areas for expansion of the city.