Although it may at times seem like the City of Trail’s plan for extending the municipal boundary to encompass the Waneta industrial park and newly acquired airport is already a done deal it is anything but and still faces numerous hurdles before anyone can begin drawing new maps.
In an email Wednesday, Gillian Rhodes, communications manager for the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, outlined the lengthy route the city’s proposal still has to travel before being approved by the provincial cabinet.
“The ministry received the City of Trail’s boundary extension proposal on Feb. 18,” Rhodes stated in her email.
“It is currently under review and staff will take the following steps: First, ensure the proposal package is complete and includes evidence of municipal consultation with affected property owners, the regional district, and other potentially impacted agencies to resolve identified issues.
“Then our staff will consult with other provincial agencies to determine the impact on provincial interests and services, for instance implications for maintenance of provincial roads.
“Then we will review the process and outcomes of municipal consultations and identify any outstanding issues.
“Finally, if any additional processes or adjustments are warranted, the ministry will work with the municipality to resolve them.”
Once the initial review has been completed the city will be required to formally seek the approval of the citizens of Trail through an electoral process that itself has a number of necessary steps city staff will have to work through.
If the voters of Trail approve the city’s plan for expansion the formal resolution then has to be forwarded to the minister responsible for final consideration before deciding whether or not to recommend the boundary change to cabinet.
If the minister recommends the extension then the provincial cabinet makes the final decision and either issues what is referred to as “Letters Patent” that extend the municipal boundary… or not.
At this point, there haven’t been any definitive estimates of how long the process will actually take.
“We do not anticipate anything coming from the province in the next few weeks,” David Perehudoff, chief administrative officer for the City of Trail, said in an email. “The province had a staffing change and the person who was overseeing the file has now left the ministry. A new staff person has been appointed and it will take her some time to get familiarized and up to speed.”