By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Lethbridge County and the Village of Barons have started work on their Intermunicipal Development Plan.
During their regular Aug. 15 meeting, Lethbridge County council discussed their Intermunicipal Development Plan with the Village of Barons.
Section 631of the Municipal Government Act states that neighbouring municipalities are required to complete an IDP, which will provide a framework for future development in the fringe area between the two municipalities, and a means to resolve any disputes regarding land use.
County and Barons’ administration had met on July 24 to discuss moving forward with their IDP. Under the MGA, this needs to be completed by April 1, 2020, and needs to address future development and land uses, transportation systems, intermunicipal programs relating to physical, social and economic development – environmental matters, dispute resolution procedures, plan amendment procedures and administration of the plan.
County council had also previously approved $10,000 to go towards drafting the Lethbridge County/Village of Barons IDP in their 2019 Municipal Budge. Barons has said they have up to $8,500 to go towards the plan, and the Oldman River Regional Services Commission said the proposed funds will be sufficient to create the plan.
“For the most part, it is going to follow the urban fringe area, which is about half a mile that surrounds the village right now, but that will be a discussion once we get into the actual planning process,” said Hilary Janzen, senior planner with the county.
Administration is looking for council to appoint a member of council to sit on the Lethbridge County/Village of Barons Intermunicipal Development Plan Committee. It is anticipated that there would be up to four meeting for the IDP
“When we met administratively, it was agreed between the village and the county that having a small committee would be appropriate.”
Coun. Steve Campbell noted that about a year or two ago, it sounded like Barons didn’t have a Municipal Development Plan completed, and inquired if it was finished or if they needed to finish it.
Janzen said that the Barons MDP was completed last fall, and the IDP can tie into the work they completed there.
Coun. Tory Campbell asked if there has ever been any discussion of the province giving grants to smaller communities such as Barons to assist with IDPs, given they are mandated by the province. Janzen said that in the past, there have been grants that they could go for, but she hasn’t heard of any new grants.
“I know Barons did get a grant for their MDP, so there was a grant available for that, and some of the funds that they do have available are kind of tied into the grant they got for the MDP,” said Janzen.
“We didn’t have any opportunity to apply for any grants on behalf of the county for this particular project; it was something that we knew that last year it probably wouldn’t be something that we could do, and that’s why we allocated that money for that, to help with the costs.”
Council passed a motion to appoint Steve to sit on the Lethbridge County/Village of Barons Intermunicipal Development Plan Committee.