Next phase in amalgamation study under consideration

A decision is expected soon on whether the consultants hired to study a potential amalgamation between Trail and Warfield will move forward.

A decision is expected soon on whether the consultants hired to study a potential amalgamation between Trail and Warfield will move forward.

Residents still have time to provide feedback on the second phase of an amalgamation study to both municipal councils before politicians meet with Urban Systems and members of the steering committee on Aug. 25.

A meeting held at the Trail Memorial Centre last month went over the pros and cons of the potential merger.

Promising that there is more information to come, should the public favour the next phase of the $34,000-study, residents were asked to fill out a short questionnaire based on the data compiled.

“The consultant will review the input received following the public meeting and any other responses that may (have) come through the survey that is posted on the city’s website,” said city administrator David Perehudoff.

“The consultant has advised that the results from the survey at the public meeting did indicate a strong support to proceed to Phase 2.”

Phase 1 of the study highlighted three amalgamation scenarios – business as usual, increased efficiencies and enhanced services – and ultimately concluded that taxes would fluctuate between a $42 decrease to a $12 increase per year for a $200,000 home. The study projects under the business as usual scenario that property taxes for business owners in Warfield will increase by about $370 per $100,000 in assessed value, which would gradually be phased in.

The second part of the study would look more critically at the potential new organization, as far as the number of employees and the types of services available through city hall.

Should the amalgamation study move ahead, a referendum could be held next spring and if residents favour the marriage of the two communities, preliminary discussion with the province indicate the amalgamation could be completed a year later.