By Stan Ashbee
A special meeting of council of the Town of Taber was held Feb. 23. It was a joint public hearing with the Municipal District of Taber in relation to an M.D. proposed Bylaw No. 1966 and the town’s proposed Bylaw 12-2020, being bylaws to adopt the M.D. and town’s Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP).
It was stated in a Request for Decision (RFD) report, administration for the town and the M.D. have been working on the IDP under the guidance of the Intermunicipal Development Committee (IMDC) and with input from both councils. After an Open House was held Oct.14, 2020, it was proposed final amendments be made to the document. The final draft is being finalized to address the following changes:
* First Reading of Bylaw 12-2020 and the IDP was given by town council at the June 22, 2020 meeting.
* The current version of the IDP provides for a solid foundation for the two municipalities to work from and gives guidance for development and intermunicipal collaboration for the future.
* The public consultation requirements in the Municipal Government Act (MGA) have all been met and the document is at a stage where the IMDC is in support of the proposed next steps from administration.
* This will involve the scheduling of a joint public hearing, and special meetings of each council to immediately follow the public hearing, in order to provide second and third reading.
* At the Jan. 25, 2021 regular meeting of council, it was moved by Town of Taber Coun. Carly Firth that council rescinds RES 440/2020; and, council directs administration to proceed with a joint public hearing with the M.D. by videoconference on Feb. 23, 2021 for proposed Bylaw 12-2020 for the IDP.
It was stated in the report submitted to council for consideration, “grant received and funds in place to pay for fees relating to the completion of the IDP.”
Town of Taber Coun. Garth Bekkering, who also sits on the IMDC, noted there have been some really good discussions over the last year or so. “Some differences of opinion, but we came to a collaborative conclusion. The underpinnings of this, that holds this whole plan up, is the co-operation, collaboration, co-ordination and communication.”
M.D. Coun. Tamara Miyanaga is also a member of the IMDC and pointed out, “A great deal of work was done on this document to ensure it is a guiding document for the future, so both municipalities know, and the residents are aware of what expectations are in those policy areas that are presented. There has been a great deal of back and forth work by the members of the committee and particularly our planning departments and they have done a good job to find a place where we can move forward with this document.”
M.D. council passed second and third readings of the bylaw unanimously during their meeting on Feb. 23. Town council has not made any motions in regard to the bylaw.