The City of Lloydminster will not be renewing their membership in the Vermilion River Regional Alliance. The fee is $10,000 and without membership, the city is unable to vote in decisions made by the group.
The VRRA consists of members from Kitscoty, Paradise Valley, Marwayne, Manville, Dewberry, Vermilion, Lakeland College and the County of Vermilion River. The group focuses on shared issues between its members and encourages tourism and economic development in the region.
Councillor Michael Diachuk is the city’s representative in the VRRA. Diachuk doesn’t expect the relationship between the city and its neighbours to change by not paying the membership.
“There are many instances over the last three years where the city has been a good neighbour. Ace water, we’ve partnered with our neighbours to the west. We’ve supported applications for tourism grants. We’ve sent our employees out to Marwayne to assist with the water supply and the challenges they have and we continue to work with them.”
Outside of promoting tourism, the group’s other key focuses are advocacy and developing projects such as transportation for seniors in rural areas. Diachuk says the biggest role for Lloydminster in this group is advocacy by presenting the VRRA’s shared concerns to government officials.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says discussions between the city and the VRRA will continue and the city will still have a presence.
“We are a part of the team but at the same token, we want to ensure, before we bring $10,000 to the table, we know where that $10,000 is going. That’s taxpayers money and in the past, we’ve seen good progress and in other areas, we haven’t always agreed.”
He says if a project arises which would be beneficial to the city then they will consider paying for the membership again.