Report on eastern P.E.I. amalgamation released

Steve Sharratt comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 16, 2015

Screenshot of the report commissioned to look at amalgamation in eastern P.E.I. Brudenell, Cardigan, Georgetown, Lorne Valley, Lower Montague, Montague and Valleyfield commissioned the report.

MONTAGUE – A consultant’s report released Wednesday strongly recommends that seven communities in southeastern P.E.I. move forward to create a regional municipality for the Three Rivers region.

“This option holds the greatest potential in terms of maximizing the region’s economic development potential and it would also create the most efficient and effective administrative structure for the delivery of regional services,” says the report entitled, Stronger Together, Building a sustainable Future for the Three Rivers region.

The $60,000 report, conducted by Phil Woods and Associates, says if properly structured, the new municipality has the potential to be the most affordable and most equitable option for all residents of Three Rivers and help increase economic development and population.

The report was released jointly by the seven communities involved and is expected to be posted on the websites of the town of Montague and Georgetown, as well as the other communities of Brudenell, Cardigan, Valleyfield, Lower Montague and Lorne Valley.

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The report is the starting block for discussion on the plan and public meetings are anticipated in the new year to assess support for such a move.

“From the outset it is important to note that we have been using the name “Three Rivers” simply to facilitate our discussions and our analysis," says the report. "If the decision is made to move forward, it is recommended that a contest be held (as happened in the Town of Stratford) to select a name for the new municipality.”

If the boundaries recommended in this study are accepted by the seven municipal Councils and the residents of the region, Three Rivers would immediately become the fourth largest municipality in Prince Edward Island with 7,744 people and combined assessment of nearly $500,000,000.

“We are confident, however, that once the somewhat artificial municipality boundaries come down that the region will cease to be as fragmented and polarized and there will be a growing appreciation that the health of the serviced core area is critical to the well-being of the entire region.”

CLICK HERE TO READ HOW TO SUBMIT COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSAL

Based on the economic performance in Charlottetown, Summerside, Stratford and Cornwall after the 1994 amalgamations, it is expected that Three Rivers will see considerable economic growth as a new regional municipality.

The Town of Stratford has been one of the fastest growing municipalities in eastern Canada since amalgamation and Cornwall has also seen significant improvement in its economy.

The expectation is that Three Rivers will also experience an upturn.

 

The working group welcomes feedback from the public at 7communities@gmail.com or by phone 902-652-2924

Written comments can be sent to Georgetown Town Hall, PO Box 89, 36 Kent St., Georgetown, P.E.I. C0A 1L0.

The study can be found online at www.georgetown.ca or www.montaguepei.ca.