The City of Edmonton and Leduc County have cut a deal on Edmonton’s annexation notices. And this provides the perfect example to demonstrate why the Town of Beaumont should have engaged in a productive and cooperative manner with Leduc County on our own annexation. Moreover, this is a prime example of why we need to start working with Leduc County to stave off becoming a part of Edmonton.
Leduc County will not oppose Edmonton’s push South to Beaumont’s boundary. In fact, Edmonton will pursue annexation of the land that Beaumont just obtained north of Highway 510.
The landowners in the 9 quarter sections at issue have been our friends and neighbours long before they became residents of Beaumont. From the conversations I've had with some of them, they would like to remain part of Beaumont.
And I will fight to make sure they remain Beaumont residents.
They're in a tough position - that of uncertainty. This uncertainty will severely limit their development options at least until this is resolved.
Leduc County could have been an ally in this discussion.
Instead, by pushing our annexation to the province, rather than working with the county, the Town forced the County into negotiating a settlement with Edmonton, just to ensure their survival.
This puts Beaumont in a more precarious situation, likely to be absorbed into Edmonton unless we can rebuild our relationship with Leduc County and commit to joint development, planning and services that benefit the entire region.
We need to rebuild our relationships with the surrounding communities.
Beaumont can't just go it alone. Residents of the surrounding communities attend our schools, use our facilities and spend money at our local businesses. Our residents work in Nisku, Leduc and elsewhere in the region. We all share in the costs. We need to share in the planning as well and to partner in our facilities and services. We have isolated ourselves for too long.
We need to attract commercial development that supports the growth of the region as a whole. We should attract businesses and industry that supports rather than competes with Nisku, Leduc and the Aerotropolis. We should work with our neighbours to promote economic growth that benefits us all.
When we're preparing to welcome new residents to Beaumont, we need to build strong alliances within the Capital Region Board. Mandates to increase density affect all of the communities surrounding Edmonton, and we must bring a strong, united voice to ensure the needs of all the surrounding communities are respected.
This is how we will build a better Beaumont.