Province Turns Down Specialized Municipality Status

Alberta Municipal Affairs has declined to endorse Rocky View County’s application for Specialized Municipality status, stating that the rules of the existing Municipal Government Act should be sufficient to manage the County’s needs.

Specialized Municipality status has only ever been granted to six of the province’s 352 municipalities. As Alberta’s fifth largest economic base, with 40,000 residents, and one million acres of land that border 13 other municipalities and four First Nations, Rocky View County believed it was in a unique situation that warranted the designation.

In turning down the request, Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIvor indicated that the County’s ongoing success, particularly in economic development, is evidence that it can operate effectively without the need for any special status.

Rocky View County applied for Specialized Municipality status in 2020. The designation would have allowed the County easier ways to create service delivery areas that were supported by varying tax rates. The County is facing increasingly diverging demands for services from the different urban, country residential, rural, commercial, and industrial areas of the municipality.

“We’re disappointed, since being a Specialized Municipality would have allowed us to be more equitable and adaptable in meeting the needs of residents and businesses. But it is not the only path forward,” says County Reeve Dan Henn. “Council will continue to work under the Municipal Government Act to maintain and enhance the quality of life of residents and ensure the competitiveness of our business community.”

Posted in: Planning & Development Administration

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