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Emerald Park opposes annexation plan by White City
As White City and Emerald Park continue to grow, the towns are feeling friction over how best to plan their communities.
Back in March, White Cityproposed to annex Emerald Park to form a joint city of 5,000 residents.
Both of the side by side communities are holding their own series of town hall meetings. So far the response from White City has been positive.
“We are going to continue to grow and the question is are we going to continue to grow in a coordinated, planned manner or is there going to be some friction,” said Bruce Evans, the mayor of White City.
Residents of Emerald Park, however, are not sold on the concept, with their exit polls showing 81 per cent of people opposed to the takeover. They are concerned the amalgamation could mean higher taxes and infrastructure costs, along with less weekly services.
“We’re standing up for the people, for our people,” said Mitch Huber, reeve for the RM of Edenwold.
Currently, people from both communities shop at the same stores and share a library and schools, but have separate local governments.
White City has formed a negotiating committee to bargain with the RM of Edenwold, and is confident that neither side would get hurt in the annexation.
“We’ve just released a financial analysis which shows that neither the RM nor White City are going to lose in a major way, nor are the residents,” said Evans.
White City’s proposal to annex Emerald Park could be presented to the provincial government for review next spring, but the town said it won’t pursue the matter if it doesn’t see enough community support.