By Justin Seward
Cypress County, Town of Redcliff and the City of Medicine Hat officially signed a trilateral Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework agreement during a ceremony at the county Council Chambers on Oct. 16.
The purpose of this document is to establish an ICF and a collaborative process between the three municipalities, communication and cooperation, and support collaboration on the delivery of services where a mutual benefit can be realized.
The ICF has been in the works since June of 2018 and was passed last March by each of the municipality’s councils.
An ICF Steering committee was established which was made up of two representatives from each of three municipal councils.
The ICF will allow the municipalities to work on future joint cost sharing, revenue-sharing or management for transportation, water/ waste water and solid waste.
Each of the municipalities currently share recreation and emergency services
There will be opportunities to work on economic development too.
Cypress County Coun. Robin Kurpjuweit was a part of the ICF Steering committee.
“I think one of the advantages with ICF is the fact it was a bit of philosophical change to how we approach cooperation,” said Kurpjuweit.
“Cooperation is you have three municipalities working together and maybe they all chip in to contribute a little bit here, a little bit there. But there are opportunities where we can together and truly collaborate. We can eliminate some of the redundant spending. If we don’t need to re-create the same type of program in three different municipalities, we can potentially work together.”
Kurpjuweit says it’s stronger solution in the long run if you can work together.
Redcliff Mayor Dwight Kilpatrick was on hand for the signing and said, “I’m grateful this group got together, got this document in order. It’s one of the rare trilateral agreements because they worked the whole process through as a trilateral agreement rather then each one of us having a bilateral agreement, even though we can break off and do that.”
Medicine Hat Coun. Julie Friesen says the three municipalities have made “significant accomplishments.”
“Sometimes it seemed we got bogged in a conversation that was so big picture, that we weren’t getting to detail. But I can tell you during the course of those conversations, we were able to have a depth and richness of a discussion that helped us lead to a better clarity and a collaborative understanding about our future together.”
The ceremony also marked the end of the Steering Comittee’s work. Now a new intermunicipal collaboration committee will be formed.