Annexation Mediation Lies Ahead for Parkland County
Monday, November, 12, 2018
Parkland County recently approved mediation to help resolve the issues related to the annexation by the City of Spruce Grove. The cost of mediation will be more than $100,000, but if successful, would keep the two sides out of court.
The decision to mediate and the approval of the cost was reached by unanimous vote at the council’s regular meeting in October.
The issue concerning annexation arose last year during a City of Spruce Grove Growth Study that was completed in 2017.
In mediation, both sides would discuss their ideal solutions and all possible avenues to a resolution. The goal is to come up with a resolution that satisfies both the City of Spruce Grove and Parkland County. If a resolution is not reached, the matter will go to the municipal government board, making it more expensive and time-consuming to resolve. Chances are it would also take as much as five years to end the dispute if mediation is not successful.
According to Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec, “Through a mediator we believe we can solve this a lot more quickly, gain consensus and at the end, save the taxpayers of both municipalities a lot of money. If it goes to the municipal government board, traditionally it has cost past municipalities in the neighborhood of a million dollars each … it was an expensive legal process to go through.”
The primary issue arose because of the growth Spruce Grove is experiencing and the pressures it is putting on the community. Officials are looking for definitive solutions in the short and mid-term, so both sides are hoping to get matters resolved as quickly as possible.