Beaver Valley – Amalgamation study on tap tonight

BV residents will have a chance to hear from the consultant hired to study amalgamating Fruitvale, Montrose and Area at a meeting tonight.

Beaver Valley residents will have a chance to hear from the consultant hired to study the financial impacts of amalgamating Fruitvale, Montrose and Area at a meeting tonight.

Along with sharing the complex options explored, the main message is that the three communities could not find a scenario that worked.

“We all went in believing that we’d find a solution and I think it’s fair to say that we’re disappointed at this point that we can’t find something that’s going to make the three communities want to do it,” said Area A director Ali Grieve. “We need to share that information with the public.”

The main draw back discovered through the study was a $300 increase in taxation for an average $200,000 home in Area A. The area rich in assets –including the Waneta Dam, industrial park, Trail Airport and Seven Mile Dam – would have felt the brunt of the merger.

“I’m not prepared to sell that and I don’t think anybody expected me to,” said Grieve. “In a way, it’s not a surprise. But we thought with creative thinking and subject matter experts and with help from the province, we could sort of do some work arounds and come up with something.”

Grieve said she wouldn’t be opposed in looking at a Greater Trail merger study in future, but that’s not what Beaver Valley residents told her they want.

“What we wanted to do was step one – the Beaver Valley amalgamation – but if that doesn’t work, then what? We haven’t had that meeting yet,” she said.

Regardless, community leaders encourage residents to attend the meeting held at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall at 7 p.m. tonight to understand the effort put into the long-awaited study.