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City, CVR approve boundary expansion

By February 2, 2022No Comments
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After 11 years of hard work and negotiation, the City of Lloydminster’s annexation application with the County of Vermilion River (CVR) was approved by the Alberta government through an Order in Council on Jan. 26, effective as of Jan. 1. 

However, due to the fact, Lloydminster is governed, in part, by the Lloydminster Charter, the City must obtain a complementary Order in Council from the Province of Saskatchewan before the annexation decision is finalized. This is anticipated in the near future.

Over the past two decades, significant growth has depleted Lloydminster’s existing land supply for residential, commercial and industrial development. 

The anticipated land shortage prompted introductory annexation discussions between the City and County dating back to 2011. 

The annexation includes 23.5 quarter sections of land along Lloydminster’s northern, western and southern boundaries within the Province of Alberta.

The approval announcement was made outside of Council Chambers on Monday afternoon with Mayor Gerald Aalbers fielding questions from local media.

“Saskatchewan, we made them aware we had received approval, and they’re working on it right now, so we don’t know how soon we’ll receive the Order in Council, but we don’t anticipate any challenges with that,” said Aalbers. 

The main goal of the annexation was, and always has been, to promote growth, something Aalbers is looking forward to. 

“Through the planning process, and this is ongoing, we planned to develop certain pieces, and you hear about developments being done in and around the city,” said Aalbers. 

“A growth plan is an important plan for any community, and our growth plan takes us out 50 years, needing that land for the expansion that we hope to see.

“The city has doubled in the last 30 years, and the expectation is that the economy and things will continue to grow, (and) we will see ourselves position out over the next 50 years.”

The City will work quickly and diligently to undertake all necessary steps to work with the County as necessary to support a smooth transition. The aim of annexation is to: 

· create a balanced economy;

· attract new investments and residents;

· maintain and expand services; and

· ensure a sustainable region.

The City has prepared a detailed Annexation Transition Plan to help address the most common questions of the landowners most directly affected by the proposed annexation. 

The document addresses transition topics such as governance, municipal services, properties, utilities, licenses, permits and taxes. 

The Annexation Transition Plan will be available on the City’s website in the coming weeks.

“That land gives us the ability to do proper planning layout,” said Aalbers. 

“It’s all part of that large planning process, and this has been going on for 11 years with the CVR and we appreciate their support,” said Aalbers. “Long before I was here (as mayor) negotiations had started. It takes time to do these things, and it was great to see it come to fruition. We’re preparing for the future, and we’re starting that process.”

For landowners currently situated on the affected quarters of land, Aalbers noted nothing will be changing immediately.

“The municipality doesn’t own the land, it simply falls into the city’s jurisdiction, that’s the largest difference; their taxes will come to the City of Lloydminster rather than to the CVR,” said Aalbers.

“If they need fire protection, it will be provided by the City of Lloydminster. A lot of things don’t immediately change for the landowner, and we have a transition plan already developed with the CVR in anticipation of a decision (from Saskatchewan), so a lot of this has been worked through already.”