Big Lakes County and the Town of Swan Hills officially signed the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) on November 30, 2018. Up until this point, the Municipal Government Act (MGA) gave municipalities the option to collaborate with neighbouring municipalities through mechanisms such as intermunicipal agreements or development plans, mutual aid agreements, regional services commissions, and growth management boards. However, changes to the MGA in Bill 21 required municipalities to develop Intermunicipal Collaboration Frameworks with each municipality they share a common border with. The importance of an ICF is that it highlights and formalizes existing collaborative work between neighbouring municipalities and ensures they are working together on service delivery and cost-sharing.
“Collaboration between the County and the Town is nothing new,” said the Town of Swan Hills Mayor Craig Wilson, “in fact, our municipalities have had sharing agreements in place since 1991 that have benefitted our residents. The new ICF will continue to address services such as transportation, waste and wastewater, solid waste, emergency services, and recreation to ensure that both municipalities are providing effective and efficient services.”
Big Lakes County Reeve Simard said, “This process has allowed our municipalities to come together to review the current intermunicipal services we have in place and to discuss how we can make these services better for the area and community at large. It’s been a pleasure working with the Town of Swan Hills to reach this agreement. We are excited to continue working together with the Town of Swan Hills into the future.”
To learn more about the Big Lakes County and the Town of Swan Hills ICF, please visit www.biglakescounty.ca.