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May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024

Cypress County motions to leave Intermunicipal Committee

Posted on May 2, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith
Southern Alberta Newspapers

Cypress County is considering withdrawing from the Intermunicipal Committee – used to foster dialogue between elected officials in Medicine Hat and Redcliff – as per a motion passed at the end of the April 24 county council meeting.

The motion directs administration to send a letter to the City of Medicine Hat, as well as the Town of Redcliff, notifying them of Cypress County council’s intent to withdraw from the committee, effective May 7.

The earliest the letter may be sent is following the next council meeting on that day. No debate accompanied the motion, which was passed after closed-session discussion.

The Municipal Government Act requires all municipalities which share a common boundary to prepare Intermunicipal Collaboration Frameworks.

The Tri-Area Intermunicipal Development plan has been in place since the late 2000s, guiding development and providing each municipality the ability to comment on projects along the city and town’s limits. It remains in place.

The Intermunicipal Committee and Working Group of administrators was formed in 2018, and contracted Stantec Consulting Ltd. to prepare the framework and update the existing Intermunicipal Development Plan.

In 2020, the parties also formed the committee of elected officials stating the discussions could better align the municipalities, provide opportunity for partnerships, focus lobbying efforts and broaden economic development work.

Medicine Hat representative Coun. Shila Sharps said she spoke with county counterparts late Wednesday but wouldn’t go into specifics with Southern Alberta Newspapers about the committee that meets every two months.

“Honestly, I think we were working really well together,” said Sharps. “But I think they are a little frustrated at a lack of movement on some issues.

“I love the county, and I’ll work very hard to bring them back to it. If it’s not working for them, we have to get it working right.”

Currently, Cypress County Reeve Dan Hamilton and Coun. Robin Kurpjuweit represent the county on the committee, alongside Mayor Dwight Kilpatrick and Coun. James Allen from the Town of Redcliff, and Mayor Linnsie Clark and Sharps from the City of Medicine Hat.

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