Plans for eastern P.E.I. amalgamation to be announced tomorrow

Steve Sharratt
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Georgetown Mayor Lewis Lavandier is looking forward to discussions with his counterparts now that a long awaited study on forming a larger regional municipality has been released.

MONTAGUE - The last secret meeting to discuss the future of amalgamating seven communities into one of the largest regional municipalities in the province was held behind closed doors last week.

Georgetown Mayor Lewis Lavandier says information regarding future plans and a public input process will be announced this week.

However, some residents are already objecting to the secret meetings closed to the public and media while mediated by Paul MacNeill, publisher of the Eastern Graphic newspaper.

“It was very positive and I can’t comment until the release is issued,’’ said Lavandier. “I think everyone wants to work together.”

Lavandier is the group spokesman and said the closed meetings were to enable officials to review the recent consultant’s report on the amalgamation effort and to determine a system of forthcoming public meetings.

He also said MacNeill was present as a private citizen because of his connection with the Georgetown Conference, not as a media person.

RELATED: P.E.I. amalgamation scheme a possible eastern force

RELATED: Montague mayor says residents would have vote before amalgamation

The amalgamation effort, if approved, would see the development of a regional municipality from Lorne Valley to St. Andrew’s Point in Lower Montague and include as many as 10,000 people to create a major tax base.

The communities involved are Georgetown, Cardigan, Lorne Valley, Brudenell, Montague, Valleyfield and Lower Montague.

However, not everyone was so buoyant with praise.

Some community officials contacted by The Guardian either voiced concerns privately or declined requests for comment at this time.

“I find it deceptive,” said former Montague Mayor Pat McGowan.

“We are all taxpayers. I think the more closed they are, the more residents will be against the idea thinking it's all done behind their backs.”

The seven communities would retain their names but could become the regional area of Three Rivers, if the proposal is accepted.

Phil Woods and Associates carried out the study at a cost of $30,000.

The province picked up most of the costs of the study.

More information is expected to be released on Wednesday.

Organizations: Three Rivers, Phil Woods and Associates

Geographic location: Montague, Georgetown, Eastern P.E.I. Lorne Valley Valleyfield

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Recent comments

  • Shipyard Employee
    December 15, 2015 - 20:28

    I dont trust Mr Lavandier for a minute! Last Provincial Election he organized and had the town promote a "big announcement" for the area-the announcement was that the Liberals would win the election-Mr Mayor you should be impartial but you are just one of the Premiers hacks-the only good thing that would come out of this is that you might not be mayor anymore!

  • Kings County Resident
    December 15, 2015 - 19:17

    I throughly respect Paul MacNeil and think he is an intelligent man who cares about rural PEI; however, if someone else were chairing these secret meetings I expect we would be reading about his disgust with this in the Graphic. What goes around comes around.

  • Fed up
    December 15, 2015 - 16:27

    Amalgamation only helps the "big guys!" It totally ruins the smaller municipalities. Just ask anyone in Sherwood, etc., how miserable things became after joining the City of Charlottetown!! Costs increased....taxes, water...sewer....and services went DOWN!! Check the miserable job they do clearing streets in the winter....or even keep them in good repair during summer! They run around dropping that awful tar in every crack....making the streets hardly safe to drive on! REFUSE AMALGAMATION!!!!

  • Confused
    December 15, 2015 - 11:34

    Saying Paul is not a private citizen because he runs a newspaper is a bit of a stretch. If anyone has read his editorials you would know he is ready, willing and able to help Rural PEI in the Kings County area become vibrant once again. The Provincial Government has forgotten Kings County and unless you folks stand up, all that will be left is empty homes. Has anyone looked at the latest stats on where people are moving to on PEI? It's to urban areas.

  • Jimmy Buffet
    December 15, 2015 - 10:14

    They can have all the meetings they want but if I do not have town sewer and water hook-up I will not be paying town taxes . I live 3 miles outside the town limits , I live outside because I do not like the way they spend money foolishly . They dug themselves into a hole and want a money grab , no thanks !

  • go one step further
    December 15, 2015 - 09:54

    Forget the 3 rivers area. Incorporate all of Kings County into a single municipality instead.

  • Squirrel
    December 15, 2015 - 09:32

    It is well past the time for amalgamating to happen. How long ave we been talking about it. it has to be done. The Province should have done this yrs ago. How many studies have we have had 7, and they all said the same thing - do it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • yvonne higgins
    December 15, 2015 - 09:12

    This puts my blood pressure over the top....meetings behind closed doors to discuss what will take place re amalgamation. I don't think anyone is foolish enough to believe that the public input meeting will hold any weight. Decisions made at behind the door meetings are usually the indicator of things to come. It has been my experience the "behind the door meetings" are held to play out the scenario of how do we answer all the questions posed that are contradictory to what we have already decided to do. I am a resident of Lower Montague, and have NO desire to be amalgamated , and for one I will be royally pissed off if we are!!!!

  • Rural Resistance
    December 15, 2015 - 09:03

    This plan could be a wonderful thing, provided that residents in each of the communities concerned have an opportunity to vote yea or nay. Otherwise, it's an affront to democracy and a potential disaster as existing municipalities endeavor to enrich themselves, largely at the expense of unincorporated rural areas.

  • Sleazy - Sleasy
    December 15, 2015 - 08:30

    What a sleazy move this is . Hey , is this what we can expect in the future to suck more money out of the now struggling people trying to maintain a home . Montague I can see as this is their way of doing things but really surprised at Georgetown . I thought they were better .

  • Pat McGowan
    December 15, 2015 - 08:26

    Just to clear any misconception re my comment,I am not against amalgamation per se,but I feel the public should have been made aware these meetings were being held.As for Paul MacNeill chairing, do you ignore the fact that he owns a newspaper!! The Georgetown Conference was a wonderful venture,but who got the most publicity? Paul is a very intelligent and articulate speaker,but to be fair,wouldn't it be better to put someone unbiased in the Chair.It's a bit like the Premier chairing a meeting and saying he's not there as the Premier.....he's not a private citizen!! And neither is Paul MacNeill.