Every time a municipal election comes up, in the 21st century that is, the issue of amalgamation between Trail and Warfield resurfaces.
As this story shows, taken from the Trail Times dated, Jan. 5, 1967, amalgamation between village and city has been a politicial hot button as far back as the previous century.
Warfield ‘No’ to survey on amalgamation
Warfield commission chairman, Arnold Lauriente, today gave reasons why the village commission has instructed secretary Greg Girard to write a letter to Municipal Affairs Minister Dan Campbell.
He said the letter was to “strongly protest at the unilateral request made by the City of Trail for a feasibility survey to amalgamate the municipalities of Trail, Tadanac and Warfield. “
Mr. Lauriente told The Times this morning that the projected amalgamation of the three municipalities was “a natural” – it must come about eventually. But Warfield’s principle objection to the feasibility survey is that any subsequent decision by Minister Campbell to act on the findings by ordering a referendum on the issue would push it through automatically as a result of Trail’s greater voting power.
Even if the people of Warfield and Tadanac voted 100 percent against such an amalgamation, their votes would not come anywhere near the number of Trail.
“It is our privilege to vote and we don’t want anything forced down our throats, whatever our feelings are about it,” he said. Although Mr. Lauriente said the commission recognized some form of future amalgamation as inevitable, he added: “At the present time, Warfield is not the least bit interested in amalgamation. We understand this from the voters.”
This, in fact, will be the main point in the proposed communication with the Minister – that Warfield is opposed to amalgamation at this time.
“At present, what is there to gain? Our taxes would go up, our mill rate would go up. All this would be part and parcel of the equalizing process… If we had something to gain or if we were at least going to break even then this would be good business. But at present, it would only cost us more to amalgamate.”
Mr. Lauriente, who said he could visualize amalgamation within 10 years, maintained that the village would not benefit greatly by joint water and garbage disposal services as part of an amalgamation.
“When the government forces us to install treatment plants for sewage disposal we might consider going in with Trail on this count in the future but at the moment this is all somewhat lukewarm. We do know, however, that we are faced with it.”
He said amalgamation would take place when the people demand it.
“We should not have anything crammed down our throats.”
The chairman added, however, that it was easy to see the trend of things to come, “We belong to the local library which is a joint function, similarly with the school board and the hospital. We are slowly coming together.”