And closer to home…

Locally, the pressures faced by municipal governments mirror those Alberta and B.C. are experiencing. What’s at stake is a lot smaller, of course, but the situation is similar. When times are good and money is flowing into municipal coffers, cooperation between the town and M.D. is fairly easy. But lately, with both Slave Lake and Lesser Slave River seeing revenue declines, everything in the municipal cooperation line gets more difficult.
The town needs M.D. cash to upgrade a waterline? Sorry, we don’t want it.
A new agreement on funding for the regional fire service? Grumble, grumble, grumble (our interpretation of what goes on in camera). The talks have dragged on for a long time and it’s quite clear that both parties would like to figure out how to pay less.
There must be some sort of acceptable compromise. Finding it in times of reduced revenue is obviously a lot harder than it might once have been. Looming over it all is the possibility (unlikely but not out of the question) of one municipality turning in the keys and saying to the other: ‘It’s all yours. Have fun.’
The Town of Swan Hills did some version of this, becoming part of Big Lakes County.

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