Residents in Hythe have voted overwhelmingly in favour of dissolving the municipality and joining the County of Grande Prairie. Over the last two days, a viability vote took place in the village, and the County reports 95 per cent of 251 ballots cast were in favour of becoming a hamlet.
The Village of Hythe requested a viability review from the province in April 2020, revealing it is struggling with financial challenges and can’t cover its rising operational costs and infrastructure needs. Earlier this month, Hythe Mayor Brian Peterson said an audit found a $14.2 million infrastructure deficit requirement over the next 10 years, and an additional backlog of infrastructure repairs totalling $8.5 million was identified for 2031 to 2040.
He added that the cut to its Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant is more than expected, at 25 per cent over the next three years, and that assessed property values for 2021 dropped 10 per cent. Council had since recommended that residents choose dissolution.
County of Grande Prairie Reeve Leanne Beaupre says with the vote complete Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver will now make a recommendation to cabinet.
“Should a ministerial order be issued to dissolve the Village of Hythe, it is our intention to extend a warm welcome to the citizens of Hythe into our County of Grande Prairie community.”
“Further, County Council and Administration will work together in the interests of both County and Hythe citizens to ensure as smooth a transition as possible,” she adds.”
If the province recommends moving forward with the dissolution, Hythe would fall into Division 7 within the county.