(BLACK PRESS file photo)

Lacombe County and City update Joint Economic Area Agreement

The agreement encourages commercial and industrial development to the benefit of both municipalities

Lacombe County Council and the City of Lacombe Council recently approved an updated Joint Economic Area Agreement (JEAA).

The Joint Economic Area Agreement encourages commercial and industrial development to the benefit of both the City and County. The agreement minimizes the impact of municipal jurisdictional boundaries by using the City’s water and wastewater systems’ to each municipality’s mutual benefit, according to the City.

“The future economic outlook of both the City of Lacombe and Lacombe County is improved thanks to positive and mutually beneficial agreements like the JEAA,” City of Lacombe CAO Matthew Goudy said.

“Updating the agreement allows the City to plan for the sustainable growth of our community in conjunction with the future economic success of our closest regional partner.”

The revisions made to the JEAA, which was initially adopted in 2007, were not significant, but the main changes to the agreement are:

• The tax sharing revenue pool will be reduced by the County’s cost of providing services such as snow removal, road maintenance, mowing, fire services, and other work related to ongoing municipal servicing requirements.

• The area covered by the agreement will expand slightly to reflect additional lands in the County that can be serviced with City water and wastewater. In return, the County will share a portion of the municipal taxes generated from these lands as they are developed.

“Lacombe County and the City of Lacombe have a long history of working together to provide positive economic development opportunities for our citizens,” Mayor Grant Creasey said. “By updating the Joint Economic Area Agreement, we are carrying on that history, while prudently planning for the positive future of our region.”

Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law says the updated agreement reflects the desire to see both municipalities benefit from current and future development an economic growth.

“The updated JEAA continues to encourage sustainable economic development in the region and builds on the strong relationship between the communities,” said Law.

The new cost-sharing addition to the agreement factors in the revenue generated by the area, and the costs incurred by sustaining services.

“We are grateful for the City’s acknowledgement that although the original JEAA did not contain a cost-sharing provision it is appropriate that the County should not bear the entire burden of servicing the area that provides economic benefits to both municipalities,” said Tim Timmons, County Manager.