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HomeNewsGrande Cache to ideally become hamlet at end of 2018

Grande Cache to ideally become hamlet at end of 2018

It’s hoped that when Grande Cache residents ring in the New Year, they’ll also be marking the start of a new era for the community. MD of Greenview Reeve Dale Gervais says December 31, 2018 would be the best time for the province to dissolve the town and turn it into a hamlet.

“It’s the end of our fiscal year so that would be the logical time; any other time you’ve got to get into prorating and all kinds of interesting stuff.”

Grande Cache residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of having the town become a hamlet of the municipal district, with 97 per cent of 1,100 voters approving of the move. Gervais says that and the high voter turnout makes the choice clear.

“It says that the people are concerned and know what they want, so there’s no hesitation going forward; I think there was only 32 people who voted against it, so I think that gives us our marching orders.”

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Before the province finalizes the switch with a ministerial order, Gervais says the MD has a lot of work to do. That includes setting the tax base, policies and bylaws, and day-to-day services. He believes it is up to the challenge of taking on its finances.

“We’ve never objected to the dissolution, so we were prepared to take on this added responsibility. We’re also committed to maintaining the level of service that the council has provided for the residents of the Town of Grande Cache, so we’re going to keep that.”

An infrastructure assessment done in 2017 found the town needs $80 million worth of repairs, upgrades, and new construction and already can’t cover its operational and capital costs. Gervais admits the infrastructure deficit will be hard to address, but notes the MD has already given the town $34 million over the past six years.

“I think the Town of Grande Cache has a lot of potential and I really, really hope that the MD can assist or work towards developing that full potential.”

Once Grande Cache becomes a part of the municipal district, an interim council made up of the current Greenview Council and two Town representatives will govern it until the next municipal election in 2021. Town Council chose councillors Duane Didow and Tyler Olsen to represent it through a secret ballot Monday.

“I ran for Council to be a bigger part of our community and help move Grande Cache forward,” says Olsen. “I now look ahead to continuing to assist in moving Grande Cache towards a new future as part of the MD of Greenview.”

“Humble to be chosen as one of the councillors tasked to represent our community with the MD of Greenview, I am excited about the positive future we have established for Grande Cache, and I look forward to working with the MD Council and Administration,” adds Didow.

The current council will remain in place until the provincial cabinet decides on a date for dissolution.

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