Strategy proposes major annexation for Montague

Steve Sharratt
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

A map from the Department of Municipal Affairs shows the incorporated areas of Montague (63), Brudenell (64), Lower Montague (62) and Georgetown (65) and the unincorporated area of Valleyfield (59) and Cardigan (66).

Province drafts two potential maps as ways the town could grow

MONTAGUE — New boundaries being considered for eastern Prince Edward Island's largest town could stretch as far as Panmure Island, depending on the outcome of a $15,000 annexation study.

“We may all be shot at dawn, but we have to proceed on this . . . one way or another,’’ said Coun. Peggy MacLeod at town council’s meeting here Monday night.

The strategy for possible annexation came from the provincial Municipal Affairs Department, which drafted two potential candidate maps for the town as ways the municipality could grow and expand beyond its current landlocked status.

Strategy 1 would see the town acquire about 2,800 acres in the unincorporated area of Victoria Cross.

Strategy 2, however, would see the town — or new regional municipality — take in 40,000 acres of unincorporated area from Heatherdale to Poole’s Corner and to Sturgeon and Panmure Island — currently the boundaries of the Montague Fire District.

The annexation strategy would not include the neighbouring and incorporated communities of Brudenell, Valleyfield or Lower Montague.

“The bigger plan could support regional services and have sufficient funding and available land to consider pursuing and attracting an employer,’’ said chief administrative officer Andy Daggett.

“The status quo is not working and Montague provides a majority of services to the surrounding area.”

Earlier in the meeting, the town heard from library board chair Diane Arsenault, who said the library now boasts 4,500 members while the town population is a mere 1,900 people.

Daggett said the town is the only funder of the library, other than the province, and pays for events all summer at no admission costs to the entire region.

“If we’re going to survive, we need to join forces with these smaller rural areas and create a ward system,” he said. “Whether you call it the town of Montague or Three Rivers or whatever … it has to be done.”

But Coun. Jim Bagnall called the government strategy “garbage” and “an idiotic plan”.

The former MLA said the annexation concept should be tendered out without any preconceived notions and see what boundary proposals are returned.

“Why would we skip Lower Montague and Brudenell . . . it looks like we are picking and choosing,” he insisted.

Mayor Richard Collins said the province has remained silent on many municipal issues and is foisting hot-button issues like annexation or amalgamation onto towns and communities.

The government has approved $15,000 in funding for the Development of an Annexation Strategy.

Daggett warned that bigger regional boundary zones are coming down the pipe and if the town doesn’t proceed with growth, it risks remaining a landlocked community.

“Don’t think for one minute that other communities next door aren’t looking at the same type of scenario . . . and they could easily apply and acquire these unincorporated areas.”

The biggest strategy — the entire Montague fire district — would see the town/new municipality go from 700 to more than 40,000 acres, double the population, and more than double property assessment to $200 million.

Elected councillors agreed to approve the strategy concept for further discussion at its next regular council meeting in February when a tender for an annexation study will likely be approved.

Organizations: Municipal Affairs Department, Three Rivers

Geographic location: Panmure Island, Eastern P.E.I.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Squirrel
    January 31, 2014 - 08:40

    Boy, are you people out to lunch . Do you not see who is paying for all the services ie Rink, library, etc..etc... plus all the shopping. I think the people of Montague have been very, generous in allowing you to use such facilities. How do you live with yourself anyway, all those years you think you escaped paying - unnoticed, time has come & its NOW.

  • caringgal
    January 30, 2014 - 19:21

    Just to pursue a point.Mr.Daggett says the Town is the only funder of the library.The Rotary Club put the library there,and gives them a substantial cheque every 6 weeks or so.They also paid $30,000 before Christmas to help the Wellness Ctre. because the Town couldn't come up with the money.

  • Derek Nicholson
    January 29, 2014 - 06:11

    I find this article extremely interesting. This subject of boundary expansion has been going on for years. If Montgue is interested in working with its neighbouring communities it would have many examples of such. The truth is that Montague is doing as good as it is because of the willingness of the outsiders to visit this Community and support it by shopping there when there are other options. By supporting the business community in this region we all win by providing local employment, tax revenue and opportunity. I continue to support local business because it's the right thing to do....

  • Former Islander
    January 28, 2014 - 18:46

    Without an annexation of Brudenell, Valleyfield and Lower Montague this proposal is useless. People will just relocate to these three communities and things won't be any different than they are now. Similar situation happening here around Moncton. What additional obligations or liabilities would a regional municipality incur that the present town of Montague does not have? There is not much in the article that addresses exactly what this strategy will entail. What expanded and/or additional services would Montague be willing to provide to the outlying areas as a result of this amalgamation and resultant increase in property taxes? The first thing I can think of is fire services and the potential impact on homeowners insurance that could result as a result of no longer being rural, but part of a regional municipality. For example (and I'm guessing at times), a 20 min response time today by a volunteer fire dept. to say, the Sturgeon end of Whim Road may be acceptable for a rural area, but for a regional municipality the standard may be 15 min. Would the new regional municipality build a second fire station on Douses Road, or would they move to a full time Fire dept? What about policing?

  • wasn't it
    January 28, 2014 - 17:42

    Wasn't it just last year Collins wanted to move the council into a fancy building by the waterfront? ($$$) Isn't the town council funding the 40 artisans $$$ ( rent divided by 40 should be paying their way by now). Time for Collins to retire & spend ALL of his days at McD's with cronies. Time for this council to be responsible & account for their stupidity.

  • caringgal
    January 28, 2014 - 16:40

    Where is Mayor Collins in all this?? Why is the Administrator speaking for the elected officials? This is election year for the Town and it certainly isn't starting out well.

  • I will
    January 28, 2014 - 15:11

    I will likely move off the island. This is getting ridiculous. Montague council wastes too much money on crap projects, then tries for the money grab in other ways. Time to get rid of this mayor & council & get new blood in office.

  • Dilly of a Pickle
    January 28, 2014 - 12:40

    I'm guessing but Valley Field, Brudenell and Lwr Montague are excluded at this time because the town would lose their voting power on any issues that suit their interest. Also note that these mentioned unincorporated communities could vote to join the uninvited rather than be forced to pay higher taxes under the town's control.

    • Tell Me More
      January 28, 2014 - 16:53

      Tell me more about this uninvited . I'm really open to anything , nothing could be worse than joining Montague in my mind . I don't want to have to sell & move again . Already done that because of these wishful rulers.who can't mind their own business אַאַאַאַאַאַאַ

  • Country guy
    January 28, 2014 - 11:16

    If I wanted to live in Montague and pay higher rent, I'd move to Montague; but Montague wants to move in with me, and make my rent go up, hmmm. Not sure I like this

  • hughie graham
    January 28, 2014 - 10:45

    what the advantage to me in town bounderies ?am going water, sewar, lights no all is land grab for more taxes about 40 years you paid tax to work in the town maybe the natives will something to say this

  • And Just What
    January 28, 2014 - 09:56

    I'm from Victoria Cross ; just what am I going to get in return for my double taxes ????????? You already asked me to leave your town , which I did and now you want to take me in again . Well I don't want to be living in Montague The Beautiful & paying your bill's and being told by a foolish town council what & what not I can do with the property I bought & paid for with my OWN hard earned money . Better suggestion is to clean up your own house as you seem to be doing a shit job of that at present . Making Montague the laughing stock of PEI .