Dissolving the municipal Village of Gadsby into the County of Stettler raised several questions.
Before casting ballots in a non-binding vote March 31, village residents voiced their views and questions during an information meeting March 24 hosted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and officials presented the dissolution study and answered questions.
Currently with 35 residents, the Village of Gadsby was incorporated as a municipality on May 6, 1910.
A non-binding vote is scheduled for March 31 at Gadsby Bank Building from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Obviously a lot of people had many questions about dissolution,” Mayor Fred Entwisle told the Independent after the meeting that drew about 40 people at Gadsby Bank Building, with about 25 local residents.
“The general feeling from the meeting is that I feel a lot of people oppose dissolution although that could change as people get more information and facts.”
As the village progresses to develop a sewage collection and treatment system, many people questioned whether the county would continue with the project, which seemed to be a major issue with residents.
“I’m sure the county would be committed to finish the project,” Mayor Entwisle told the Independent.
The dissolution study report indicates that if the village is dissolved, property taxes would significantly decrease.
One example states that for a property assessed at $36,960, taxes would be $1,380 under the village and $231 under the county.
If dissolved, the municipal Village of Gadsby administration, utilities, bylaws, maintenance, assets, taxation and recreation facilities would come under the County of Stettler.
On council, the village would be represented by the current ward of Botha-Gadsby.
Community organizations – such as Gadsby Ball Association, Gadsby Hobby Club and Omega Circle operating Omega Cemetery – would be able to access funding from the county.
Even after the vote, residents may still write to the minister by April 6.
The dissolution study report, feedback from the village and county councils and residents, and the result of the votes will assist Municipal Affairs Minister Hector Goudreau in deciding whether to recommend to cabinet the dissolution of the village.
After the vote, the minister would take about three months to decide on dissolution.