Village of Welwyn, RM of Moosomin plan to amalgamate

January 22, 2018 8:28 am
Kevin Weedmark

The RM of Moosomin and the village of Welwyn plan to amalgamate.

The councils of both municipalities have passed motions indicating their intention to amalgamate.

A public notice is printed in this week’s World-Spectator making public the councils’ intentions.

There will be a public meeting Wednesday, February 7 at the Welwyn Rink to discuss the proposal.

One of the issues that led the village of Welwyn to seek the amalgamation is the difficulty the village has had in attracting an administrator. RM of Moosomin administrator Kendra Lawrence has been serving as administrator for the village as well since Dec. 15.

“For the village, becoming part of the RM, they are always going to be able to have an administrator that has the certifications and qualifications to handle the everyday requirements,” explained Lawrence. “That way they are always going to have somebody that is qualified.”

The purpose of the public meeting is to address any questions that people may have about the planned amalgamation.

Copies of the Restructuring Agreement are available at the RM office starting today.

The Feb. 7 meeting will be run by the Ministry of Government Relations. “There will be a couple of representatives from the Ministry of Government Relations and they will be the ones completing the presentation on the restructuring process and addressing most of the questions from the ratepayers,” said Lawrence. “Following that February 7 meeting, they have four weeks from that date to file written submissions as to why the restructuring should or shouldn’t go forward.”

Any objections can be filed at the RM office in Moosomin and will be attached to the Application to Restructure that goes to the minister.

The village will become Division 7 of the RM of Moosomin under the amalgamation agreement. Division 7 ratepayers will elect one of the seven councillors, and can vote for the reeve along with all other RM ratepayers.

Welwyn will become a Special Service Area within the RM. It will be taxed separately from the rest of the RM because ratepayers within Welwyn will receive additional services that are not provided throughout the RM.

The legislation providing for Special Service Areas is relatively new.

“This is new legislation that was only brought in two or three years ago in regards to the Special Service Areas,” says Lawrence. “They brought in more legislation concerning voluntary restructuring. They felt that improved the availability of restructuring where there are different levels of service. Garbage service, for example, is not provided to the RM ratepayers, so they shouldn’t pay for it. Revenue generated out of that Special Service Area helps pay for the expenses or services that only they are provided.”

Lawrence says she hasn’t had a lot of questions from ratepayers so far.

“It’s been quiet,” she says. “I think we will see more question once notice goes out and everyone is aware.”

How quickly could amalgamation proceed if there are no objections?

“We have to have the meeting and then leave it open for written objections. As soon as we’re finished with the submissions of any written objections or anything like, and then the application goes to the ministry and then it’s in the ministry’s hands from that point on.

“They will then decide when everything will actually happen. They will list the conditions within the restructuring order.

“They will note in the minster’s order when the election would take place to fill the councillor position for division seven.”