While the city has roughly 700 new residents due to the recent annexation, Mayor Bill Given says it’s important to recognize that they’re still not city slickers.
“What do we call these people that have absolutely always been members of the Grande Prairie community but have had their municipality changed around them? The determination has been made to call it our Rural Service Area in recognition that many of the lifestyle issues and land use issues are significantly different.”
Those new Grande Prairie residents shouldn’t notice much of a change, as the city has committed to maintaining the same level of service as they were getting from the County. A guidebook is being distributed to help them learn about things that are different, like their government representation.
“A lot of it is very similar to what the city expressed in our presentations through the annexation process, but now the decision has been made we have more certainty on some of the issues we can speak more directly about. It also contains information on important contacts for the public who have questions.”
The main change residents will see is in the type of representation they have on city council. Some are being sent in the mail, while others are being hand delivered.
Given adds that the land annexed from the city is part of a 30 year growth plan. There’s a 50 year plan as well that looks at bringing in more County land.