The County of Grande Prairie and Town of Sexsmith have wrapped up negotiations regarding the Inter-Municipal Development Plan, that covers things from land use to transportation networks and environmental stewardship requests between the two municipalities.
Sexsmith Mayor Kate Potter says negotiations between the two sides started back in 2018, but, as tends to happen, there were hurdles along the way.
“It’s been a very long process… and at one point we decided not to complete it,” she says. “We also stopped negotiating or talking about this because we were in the midst of ICF and there we had some things that needed to be settled,” she adds.
Potter says public feedback and questions surrounding the document were expected, with residents curious about the process of things like handling annexation. Potter says the ultimate goal of the agreement is that future potential growth is something that has to be mutually beneficial.
“For the Town of Sexsmith, for instance, we have 50 years of growth already within our town boundaries, so all of this has to do with the area outside of that,” she says.
“It’s not forcing any landowner to be annexed, not forcing any landowner to turn their farmland into industrial use, it’s really about saying how best to protect what we have, protect landowner rights and also help the municipalities work well together,” she adds.
Potter adds overall she feels it is a good agreement to have in place to help the long-term relationship between the town and county.