Trail and Warfield eye union

Two municipalities plan on hiring consultant to start amalgamation study this spring

Trail and Warfield have joined forces to examine what an amalgamation between the two communities would look like.

The partners have now agreed on terms to follow while conducting a study that will      look at merging the two municipalities, after an initial request from Warfield last September.

“This is a positive step forward and we now look forward to receiving information necessary for both communities to make an informed decision about amalgamation,” said Warfield Mayor Jim Nelson in a news release Tuesday.

Since the province has no budget to support the direct cost of the study, Trail and

Warfield will cover the majority of the cost, which is unknown at this time.

The study will be paid for on a per-capita basis – which means Trail will pick up about 80 per cent of the bill. The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has agreed to provide some financial support – hopefully $10,000 – to help offset the cost for Warfield and Trail, according to city administrator David Perehudoff.

Trail and Warfield would like the study to be completed prior to municipal elections in November but have no real schedule determined at present.

“We look forward to working through this process and a positive outcome, based on the fact that we now have agreement on the terms of reference as the first major milestone,” said Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs.

The communities are now tasked with finding a consultant, who will report to a 12-member steering committee, which will be made up of two elected officials, one staff member and three residents from each community.

The two municipalities plan on keeping the public in the loop to ensure residents are informed should the question go to referendum during municipal elections.

“Having community involvement on the steering committee was a very important consideration for village council,” said Nelson. “We believe there are a lot of capable people in the village that can add value as part of the work that will be undertaken.”

The two municipalities will work toward having a consultant in place prior to the end of April, with work starting shortly after.

Both councils look to appoint their three community representatives in the near future.