THREE RIVERS, P.E.I. - Surplus funds from the municipalities that created the new Three Rivers will remain earmarked for projects in their former communities, says the area’s interim council.
However, what will happen with the former communities’ reserve funds for elections and legal costs was unclear during the Three Rivers committee of council meeting Monday.
Sean Halley, a former Lower Montague councillor, raised the issue as a member of the public during the meeting.
While gas tax infrastructure money that has already been allocated to various communities will remain “sacrosanct” to those areas, Halley asked what would happen with an operating budget surplus.
Interim Mayor Merrill Scott said that would stay within its particular community.
“And it could be piggy-backed with something else the new town could garner together,” said Scott.
“We have to look for your gains but we are also taking on your pains. Each municipality probably has some little thing that may go wrong or is wrong now and has to be corrected. We have to kind of work together to iron those out.”
However, reserve funds for elections or legal costs may go into a pool for the larger community, said interim CAO Kevin Jenkins.
Scott said he believed that determination would be handled by Municipal Affairs, since the department had worked with all seven previous councils on the mediation process.
“We’ll find out for you, that will be a definite,” Scott told Halley.
Scott said all the previous communities were asked to submit a document to the interim council stating what projects they were working on and some of their vision.
“I think it’s only fair to carry that along to a new council, not to us. We’re kind of trying to put all the information that we can together,” said Scott. “We have to look for your gains but we are also taking on your pains. Each municipality probably has some little thing that may go wrong or is wrong now and has to be corrected. We have to kind of work together to iron those out.”
The new municipality is still going through many of the finer details associated with amalgamation, like consolidating bank accounts, while also preparing for the first election in less than a month.
Due to the quick turnaround between amalgamation and the new election, the community will not be able to offer mobile polls or mail-in ballots.
“Unfortunately, in this case we just didn’t have the time,” said Jenkins, noting the interim council had about three days to write the new municipality’s election bylaw. “I’m hopeful they can be, and should be, in the next election.”
The municipality’s next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Kings Playhouse.