Leduc County residents and businesses
Council responds to City of Edmonton’s proposed annexation of 38,000 acres
March 12, 2013
Residents and businesses,
The City of Edmonton proposes to annex 38,000 acres of land from Leduc County. Leduc County Council is committed to its residents, business owners and industry partners and will continue to act in the best interests of its ratepayers throughout discussions with the City of Edmonton. Due to the level of misinformation circulating about the City of Edmonton’s annexation proposal, Leduc County Council feels compelled to clarify the County’s position on a number of topics.
Annexation Area Annexation Area
There is no existing deal with the City of Edmonton
No negotiations have occurred between Leduc County and City of Edmonton regarding annexation. Leduc County agreed to explore how City of Edmonton and Leduc County could grow together through a letter of intent dated April 11, 2012. This was to be done by examining collaborative growth options. Unfortunately, participation in this collaborative process has simply delayed Leduc County’s growth planning, while City of Edmonton prepared its ambitious annexation bid. Alternative options for growth have never been explored despite the impression that this was the purpose of these discussions. Over the last year, Leduc County has requested an inventory of City of Edmonton’s remaining land supply, supported by documentation of its suggested growth demands. This request has been repeatedly denied. Based on existing public documents, City of Edmonton has sufficient land available within its current boundaries. It appears the City of Edmonton wants to curtail growth in the region unless it occurs within its limits. All Capital Region municipalities, including City of Edmonton, have a responsibility to reduce sprawl by maximizing infrastructure, protecting agriculture, preserving the natural ecology and growing in a smarter, more-efficient manner.
City of Leduc
of Hwy 19. Construction is beginning with some work already completed. Leduc County is committed to servicing this area and moving forward with construction. • Leduc County’s largest water reservoir and portions of the County’s utilities systems are located on lands included in City of Edmonton’s annexation proposal. These critical investments cannot be handed over without causing significant harm to Leduc County’s long-term sustainability. Leduc County is committed to protecting infrastructure vital for its communities.
Leduc County’s tax base supports the local region
Leduc County partners with the City of Leduc, the towns of Beaumont, Devon and Calmar and the villages of Thorsby and Warburg, to provide services to ratepayers in the region. These services include emergency services, recreation, culture, library, infrastructure and more. Leduc County’s ability to contribute to these services is dependent on its ability to generate revenue from its existing and future tax base. If this tax base is eroded by annexation, partnering communities will see decreased revenue. In 2012, Leduc County spent approximately $7.2 million in cost-shared services. Leduc County is determined to continue delivering on the responsibility to ensure the Leduc County region shares in the benefits of development.
Agriculture must be protected in Leduc County
While development is planned for much of the proposed annexation area, Leduc County has worked to ensure high-capability agricultural land is protected in the process of expanding industrial development. Leduc County has policies in place to protect agricultural land. Leduc County will work to ensure agriculture will maintain its essential role in the future of the region while providing for responsible development.
Loss of important portions of Nisku would be devastating
This annexation proposal boxes in Leduc County by preventing future development of its growth options. This causes uncertainty for investment and threatens the economy; Leduc County, the Capital Region and Alberta as a whole will be negatively affected. Nisku, and the planned industrial developments surrounding it, are integral to Alberta’s economy. Serving industry is one of the most important responsibilities Leduc County has and the County intends to continue doing it well by developing its planned growth areas. Leduc County will work to ensure that these areas are protected in the long term, while continuing to foster growth during discussions with City of Edmonton.
We will fight for the County’s continued sustainability
This annexation proposal is the start of a negotiation process. Leduc County has the right and obligation to negotiate with City of Edmonton in accordance with the Municipal Government Act and that is what we intend to do. Leduc County will strive to ensure the outcome of this process is a better result for ratepayers than what is currently being proposed by the City of Edmonton. In the meantime, Leduc County will continue to serve its citizens, businesses and industry partners with high-quality service. Leduc County Council strongly believes there are other options available to City of Edmonton and is committed to protecting the interests of County ratepayers. As an important component of this commitment, Council will be seeking participation of residents and businesses, while ensuring information and facts are available throughout this process. For more information visit www.leduc-county.com. If you have questions or comments, they can be directed to the Mayor’s office at 780-955-4560 or by e-mailing email@example.com. Sincerely,
The International Airport does not need to be in Edmonton
The International Airport is a key regional asset crucial to the entire region. The airport is serviced by Leduc County and a number of other regional commissions. A board with appointed members from the federal and provincial governments, City of Edmonton, Leduc County and surrounding municipalities governs this regional asset. Leduc County intends to continue this regional approach as the developments planned for the airport and surrounding land will be a significant benefit to the region. In fact, the County has already identified lands for a future transit corridor and is participating in regional transit work through the Capital Region Board. Control of the airport by City of Edmonton threatens its regional nature. Tax revenue from the airport is shared with the City of Leduc and the provincial government. Leduc County has retained roughly 23 per cent of the annual tax revenue from the airport since 2002. Leduc County’s interest in the International Airport is not based solely on revenue.
Leduc County has a vision for the area
Leduc County has existing and proposed plans for most of the land City of Edmonton hopes to annex. Between Leduc County and the private sector, millions of dollars have been invested in planning, engineering and developing infrastructure in the following areas: • Construction has begun for industrial development in the north end of Nisku between Township Road 510 and 41 Avenue SW. Development is underway and infrastructure is being built. Leduc County is determined to ensure this portion of Nisku will continue to be developed. • Since 2006, Leduc County has planned the development of a business and logistics park north
John Whaley Mayor