Amalgamation could be on agenda for Summerside this year

Nancy MacPhee
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Summerside City Hall

SUMMERSIDE - The City of Summerside may look to grow in 2016.

Summerside Mayor Bill Martin said amalgamation is something that could be on the agenda for the coming year.

One of his goals is "looking at the relative merits of expanding our boundaries and doing it in a non-hostile way."

Amalgamation, or annexation, is currently a hot topic in the province, with Montague looking to expand, bringing in neighbouring communities, as well as Bedeque wanting to grow, applying to the province to annex a number of surrounding communities.

RELATED: P.E.I. government rejects Bedeque amalgamation proposal

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"No," was the answer Martin gave when asked if Summerside, currently roughly 28 square kilometres in size and a population of about 15,000, was looking at annexing any of these communities.

Slemon Park is also off the table, he added.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan made remarks in 2015 at the Federation of Municipalities annual general meeting that "regionalization" of smaller unincorporated municipalities would be a priority, particularly with a revamped Municipalities Act expected in 2016.

Widespread proposed amalgamation was set out in a 2010 report on the issue, penned by the late provincial court judge, Ralph C. Thompson.

That report recommended sweeping changes to the borders of the province's smaller communities, cutting the current 73 municipalities down to less than 20.

"We have been approached and there clearly is a desire, which is imbedded in the Thompson report, to reduce the number of municipalities in the province and bring parts of the province that are not part of any formal structure into a municipality," said the mayor.

The City of Summerside was created in 1995, after the amalgamation of the former Town of Summerside with the neighbouring communities of St. Eleanors, Wilmot and a segment of Sherbrooke.

One community that could be on a list of potential areas to include within Summerside's boundaries is Linkletter, confirmed the mayor.

"Geographically, when I say expand our boundaries, would we love to talk to Linkletter? Absolutely. Would we? Absolutely," added Martin. "Possibly Miscouche. Would we? Absolutely.

But, he added, "Only if it makes sense for us and for them."

Organizations: Three Rivers, Federation of Municipalities

Geographic location: Summerside, Eastern P.E.I., Slemon Park Miscouche

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Recent comments

  • david
    January 07, 2016 - 10:17

    Three years ago my wife and I bought our dream home in Summerside. Last spring we put it up for sale because of the high taxes. Our monthly mortgage is $900 while property taxes are just under $500.

  • Westender
    January 07, 2016 - 05:48

    Dear Transparency Committee, how many private sector jobs have been created by My ? Creating jobs at city hall does not count towards the 1000? How many new positions at the CUP? Also publish the minutes where it amalgamation was discussed and post councils expenses on the website. Thanks Transparency Committee.

    January 06, 2016 - 21:25

    This is disgusting . Another municipality that has spent its way foolishly into debt that they cannot repay and all they can think of is drag more tax payers into their misery . Think again .

  • Definitely Not
    January 06, 2016 - 18:14

    1) The Michael Jackson fiasco 2) The losses in the Waterfront projects/hotel and 3) Route 2. There have been lies and cover-ups that are costing tax payers truck loads of $. Ongoing lies are going to extend into the next several years at least. The internet business could have been sold instead now look at it. Would have cut the losses of the tax payers and put an infusion of $ into the area. Instead, here we are again. Covering lies from foolish decisions made without due diligence. Come clean Bill, then some people may have a little more interest in Summerside the beautiful.

    • Why
      January 07, 2016 - 05:01

      Give up would you! Things will never change. The new mayor had nothing to do with the old regime, he's on the straight and narrow.

  • kyle
    January 06, 2016 - 16:49

    If the mayor and council truly believe that this would help ,they should agree to have their taxes raised by the same amount the people outside of summerside will have to .They shouldn`t mine if they think that everyone will be better off.

    January 06, 2016 - 14:56

    I moved from Summerside to Miscouche to escape the high taxes, unkempt roads, and non services. As a resident of Miscouche I for one will fight all the way to keep you from destroying Miscouche. The only ones that gain are the Government as they will have to fund less communities, and the Summerside council who will have more money to throw are on foolish schemes. Don't think for a second that this is to benefit the residents of any community.

  • Summerside Resident
    January 06, 2016 - 12:00

    Amalgamation since 1995 has only increased taxes in St Eleanors, Wilmot, Sherbrooke and Summerside. The mismanagement over the past twenty years has got us over$1 million in debt and still an issue. I surely hope Miscouche and Linkletter seriously think twice before amalgamating with Summerside.