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Annexation Background @

THE CITY OF

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PUBLIC RELATIONS


Introduction During the past year, residents of the metro region have been exposed to a flood of information about Edmonton's annexation application. Much of this has been highly technical — and the size of the application has provoked very vocal opposition from affected communities — opposition frequently based more on emotion than fact The City of Edmonton has spent a great deal of time and money preparing its application, presenting it to the Local Authorities Board — and more time and money defending it against challenges. City Council did not authorize and approve this application simply to increase the geographical size of Edmonton — nor just to obtain tax revenues from "refinery row." Council acted to solve a serious problem which affects all residents of the area. Anything less would have been irresponsible. Stripped of rhetoric and emotion, the basic facts remain unchanged: • The metro region has grown rapidly in the past decade and continued massive growth is inevitable. • This growth will be greater than anything previously experienced and cannot be stopped, only controlled. • The present multi-jurisdictional planning structure is inequitable and doesn't work well. In fact, it is increasing the problems. • Edmonton no longer has land for heavy industry, and by the early 1990's will be out of land for light industry and residential development.

• The situation is serious now, and will become critical in the next 10-20 years unless a solution is found in the near future. The Local Authorities Board heard the City's application, supported by the opinions of experts in many fields. Their conclusions about the future of the region were not seriously challenged during extensive cross-examination. The Board evaluated 12,000 pages of evidence before reaching a decision. It has now ordered annexation by the City of Edmonton of the City of St. Albert, about half of the County of Strathcona (including Sherwood Park and the chemical/refinery complex), and small areas of other counties. This order must now be confirmed by the Provincial Cabinet which has the power to approve, amend or reject it. The Local Authorities Board has completed its task, making a decision based on facts, not emotions. It is now up to the Cabinet to do the same. In the past, successive provincial governments have ignored or avoided the issue, but this must not be allowed to happen again. A positive decision must be made. The. magnitude of the problems facing the city and metro region dictates that limited or short-term solutions are not acceptable. Cabinet's decision must provide a solution which will permit effective long-range planning for the whole area.


Factual information in this report was obtained from studies prepared by consultants retained by the City of Edmonton, and reports prepared by the Annexation Project Team.

City Consultants:

Finance and Dr. Hu Harries Hu Harries and Associates Economics

J. Marsh, P. Eng. Wardrop and Associates

Environment

P.S. Ross and Company

Finance

Bob Savage, P. Eng. Underwood McLellan Associates

Transportation and Utilities

Wayne Bowes, P. Eng. DeLeuw Cather (De'can Limited)

Public Transport

K.C. MacKenzie, MCIP MacKenzie Spencer Associates

Land Use Planning

Dr. Angus Reid Public Opinion CanWest Survey Research Surveys Limited

T.J. Plunkett T.J. Plunkett Associates

Government Structure

J. Lore, P. Eng. MacKinnon-Allen limited

Agricultural Impact

E. Levin, MCIP Damas and Smith Limited

Regional Planning and Government Structure

A.O. Ackroyd, Q. C. Liden Ackroyd and Company

Legal

This paper is one in a series of five prepared by the City of Edmonton's Public Relations Department The papers are designed to answer some of the most common questions concerning Edmonton's annexation application. Topics deal with Background, Land Use, Government, Taxes and Services, and are available from all public library branches and the Public Relations Department. For more detailed information, call the Annexation Project Team office at 428-2667.

Dr. J. Lightbody Government Prof., University of Alberta Services

Dr. L Axworthy Li TA. Consultants

Government Services


BACKGROUND a) Growth

20 years, population in the metropolitan area will reach one million.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the growth and development which has taken place in the Edmonton metropolitan region over the past 30 years. From 1946 to 1956, the city's population doubled to 226,000 from 113,000. Since 1967, the population has grown from 381.000 to 505,000 — so in three decades. there has been an increase of more than 300 per cent. The combined populations of St. Albert and the County of Strathcona grew from 26,000 in 1967 to 74,000 in 1978 — almost 200 per cent in only 11 years. During the past decade, Edmonton accounted for 69 per cent of the area's growth, St Albert 11 per cent, and Strathcona 20 per cent. The metropolitan region population is now about 600,000.

b) History of Annexation Application The City of Edmonton has been attempting to deal with the problems associated with growth for more than 20 years.

With a strong resource-based economy and billions of dollars in northern energy projects forecast for the next two decades, the metropolitan region will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. By the year 2020, Edmonton's population should reach one million, roughly double the current figure. This means an estimated yearly demand for new, serviced land to accommodate 8,000-10,000 dwelling units. Continuing growth is also likely in the surrounding municipalities on at least the same scale as the recent past. In fact, it is expected that in only

In 1956, the McNally Commission was appointed to inquire into matters affecting the metropolitan development of Calgary and Edmonton. The Commission's recommendations would have increased Edmonton's area from 41.5 to 112.02 square miles. Instead, a piecemeal approach to boundary requirements was imposed on Edmonton, and the City's area did not reach the size recommended by the McNally Commission until 1971.


In 1967, Edmonton City Council commissioned Dr. Eric Hanson of the University of Alberta to undertake a study "in regard to extending the City's boundaries in all directions." Published in 1968, Dr. Hanson's report recommended a major boundary expansion similar to the one now being proposed with the exception of the eastern portion of the Counties of Strathcona and Parkland. The provincial government did not act upon the Hanson Report recommendations. In November, 1973, the City provided the Provincial Cabinet with a policy document entitled "A Statement on the Future of This City." The brief recommended immediate establishment of a unitary government as the most efficient and effective form for the area. The report was based, in part, on the principles and findings of the McNally Commission and the Hanson Report. Again, the City's presentation did not result in the requested boundary adjustments. In 1977, recognizing imminent land supply problems, the City petitioned the Cabinet for an immediate extension of Edmonton's boundaries to the inner limit of the Restricted Development Area. The City also requested immediate establishment of a public inquiry commission to review longer-term boundary needs. Each of the City's requests to the Provincial Government for boundary review recommended consideration of amalgamation of urban municipalities in the metropolitan area. In addition, the City made

several attempts to establish a forum with representatives of adjacent jurisdictions, to cooperatively resolve boundary problems. In each of the instances mentioned above, no action was taken to relieve existing problems or, more importantly, to avoid future recurrences. The City, in processing its application through the Local Authorities Board, followed the specific directions of the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The annexation process was therefore, the only way the City of Edmonton could bring about urgently required government and planning reforms. The Provincial Government has confirmed this position.

c) Edmonton Regional Planning Commission (ERPC) In theory, the Edmonton Regional Planning Commission should ensure that orderly development takes place throughout the region with due regard for its effect on the city. In practice, this does not happen. There is a growing trend among surrounding municipalities toward competition for industry, with no concern for the resulting, overall tax imbalance this creates between Edmonton and suburban residents. City taxpayers must support the capital requirements necessary to provide services to these outlying industries. In some cases, surrounding municipalities have allowed less than desirable use of their land.


With more than 80 per cent of the population. Edmonton has only three of 22 votes on the ERPC. Many times. the City is outvoted on matters which strongly affect its interests. Because Edmonton provides services for the region, it should have a substantial say in planning and development. Jurisdictional boundaries should be the same as the area served. A prime example of this planning inequity has taken place in the County of Strathcona, which includes the community of Sherwood Park. The chemical/refinery complex at the edge of the city provides a large industrial assessment for the county, but the complex depends almost entirely on Edmonton for services. As well, the majority of Sherwood Park residents work in Edmonton. The City believes planning in Strathcona has been inadequate, and highly undesirable patterns of land use have been allowed to develop. Future development will have a heavy impact on Edmonton, yet the City has no control over this development and will be forced to provide services on an ad hoc basis. (See Fig. 2) The problems facing the Edmonton metropolitan area arise largely from fragmented planning. Despite the fact it is obviously one economic and social unit, development within the proposed annexation area is now controlled by 36 government agencies. In early 1978, the ERPC recommended "decentralized growth based on existing municipal boundaries." About the same time, the Edmonton Regional Utilities Study

suggested the City provide services such as water and sewage disposal — these services to be administered by water and sewage boards (to be created). Since no limit was placed on potential demands for service, Edmonton would be responsible for large capital expenditures to serve her neighbors, without any real ability to plan or predict future consumption patterns. NUMBER OF SUBDIVISION APPROVALS BY THE EDMONTON REGIONAL •PLANNING COMMISSION FROM 1970 - 1977 (*) Sturgeon Strathcona Parkland 1970

7

1971

3 87

1972

9 6 440 904 580 99 136 710 2884

207 1973 148 1974 1975 216 1976 289 1977 633 Totals 1590 (.) Plot sizes range from 3-80 acres.

7 0 483 625 292 273 796 1038 3514

Fig. 2 In recent years, the ERPC has consistently approved municipal proposals which resulted in unnecessary fragmentation of agricultural land, urban sprawl and uneconomic fringe development — all of which have increased demands on City services. This, in turn, means an increasing financial burden on Edmonton.


WHAT'S AT STAKE: A SUMMARY. There is a compelling need for a positive Provincial Government decision on the LAB's annexation order. The basic issues are summarized below, together with forecast problems if annexation is not approved.

1. ISSUES a) Growth In the past decade, the Edmonton-area has experienced massive growth which will continue for the foreseeable future. This growth cannot be stopped, but can be controlled for the benefit of all residents, given a rational planning jurisdiction for the area.

b) Representation Edmonton has about 80 per cent of the area's population, but only three members out of 22 on the Regional Planning Commission. Because of this imbalance, decisions are being made which are inimical to the best interests of the city, and in the long-term, to all residents of the area.

c) Planning In recent years, the Edmonton Regional Planning Commission has approved municipal proposals which resulted in unneccessary fragmentation of prime agricultural land, urban sprawl, and uneconomic highway strip development. These have increased the demand for services, and imposed an unfair financial burden on Edmonton taxpayers.

d) Lack of Land The city has virutally no more land available for heavy industry, and will

be out of land for light industrial and residential development by the early 1990's. This development will be forced to locate in surrounding communities which will collect the taxes, but Edmonton will have to provide the services. Without the tax revenues from these industries, the quality of these services cannot be maintained.

e) Tax Imbalance The ratios of residential to nonresidential assessment vary greatly among the municipalities. If allowed to continue, this imbalance will become even more acute and result in very high residential taxes in St. Albert and an inequitable sharing of the tax load in the whole area.

f) Annexation Application For more than 20 years. Edmonton has been asking the Province to rationalize development planning in the area. These pleas have gone unanswered, and the City and its neighbours were finally forced by the senior government to go through a lengthy and expensive annexation application before the Local Authorities Board. This procedure cost the affected parties an estimated $5.5 million, and resulted in about 12,000 pages of evidence. The Board accepted the City's case, and has now ordered an extensive annexation of surrounding territory. This order is subject to review by the Cabinet, which has the power to approve, amend or reject it.


2. IF ANNEXATION IS NOT APPROVED a) Additional Levels of Government Continued growth in the area will likely force the Provincial Government to set up either another level of government, or create a variety of boards and agencies which will have the same effect Either course will result in increased costs to area residents, with no guarantee that better planning will result.

b) Unplanned Development Essentially unplanned development will continue, with all municipalities competing for industry. As in the past, surrounding jurisdictions will reap the tax benefits, while Edmonton will be forced to shoulder the financial burden of providing services.

c) Urbanization and Services As growth continues, urbanization in the areas around the city will increase, with consequent demand for urban services. Eventually, these will have to be provided, but because of the delay and lack of regional planning, will be more costly. Within the next 20-40 years, the communities of Sherwood Park and St. Albert will be contiguous with Edmonton, and the area will be a prime example of unplanned urban sprawl. At that point, it is likely the Provincial Government will have to impose some form of unitary government, but again, this will be more costly to taxpayers because of the delay.


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Annexation - Land use @

THE CITY OF

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PUBLIC RELATIONS


Introduction During the past year, residents of the metro region have been exposed to a flood of information about Edmonton's annexation application. Much of this has been highly technical — and the size of the application has provoked very vocal opposition from affected communities — opposition frequently based more on emotion than fact. The City of Edmonton has spent a great deal of time and money preparing its application, presenting it to the Local Authorities Board — and more time and money defending it against challenges. City Council did not authorize and approve this application simply to increase the geographical size of Edmonton — nor just to obtain tax revenues from "refinery row." Council acted to solve a serious problem which affects all residents of the area. Anything less would have been irresponsible. Stripped of rhetoric and emotion, the basic facts remain unchanged: • The metro region has grown rapidly in the past decade and continued massive growth is inevitable. • This growth will be greater than anything previously experienced and cannot be stopped, only controlled. • The present multi-jurisdictional planning structure is inequitable and doesn't work well. In fact, it is increasing the problems. • Edmonton no longer has land for heavy industry, and by the early 1990's will be out of land for light industry and residential development.

• The situation is serious now, and will become critical in the next 10-20 years unless a solution is found in the near future. The Local Authorities Board heard the City's application, supported by the opinions of experts in many fields. Their conclusions about the future of the region were not seriously challenged during extensive cross-examination. The Board evaluated 12,000 pages of evidence before reaching a decision. It has now ordered annexation by the City of Edmonton of the City of St. Albert. about half of the County of Strathcona (including Sherwood Park and the chemical/refinery complex), and small areas of other counties. This order must now be confirmed by the Provincial Cabinet which has the power to approve, amend or reject it. The Local Authorities Board has completed its task, making a decision based on facts, not emotions. It is now up to the Cabinet to do the same. In the past, successive provincial governments have ignored or avoided the issue, but this must not be allowed to happen again. A positive decision must be made. The. magnitude of the problems facing the city and metro region dictates that limited or short-term solutions are not acceptable. Cabinet's decision must provide a solution which will permit effective long-range planning for the whole area.


The boundary proposed in the application resulted from detailed study by expert consultants retained by Edmonton. They started with the status quo — that is, no change — and using the best forecasts available, arrived at the proposed annexation area. This exercise involved drawing on the experience of many other cities faced with similar growth problems, and applying principles accepted across North America. St. Albert was included because it is a dormitory community of Edmonton. At the time of the study, 92 per cent of its assessment generated by residential development and eight per cent by industrial development. Although the industrial base has since grown somewhat, the imbalance will not change significantly and residential taxpayers will continue to pay an increasingly disproportionate share of the costs of services. Finally, it is obvious that the southern boundaries of St. Albert will soon be contiguous with those of Edmonton, which further demonstrates its interdependence. In the case of the County of Strathcona, the chemical/refinery complex on Edmonton's eastern limits

and Sherwood Park will continue to grow — and depend on the services of the capital city. Major residential developments planned for Ardrossan and Sherwood Park will contribute to urbanization of the region. Opponents of annexation are refusing to face reality when they suggest their communities can continue to exist in isolation. It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to visualize the situation 20-40 years in the future when the Edmonton metropolitan region is in fact one city. The question is "What kind of a city will we have?" Members of the Local Authorities Board had the courage to answer this question when they issued the annexation order now before Cabinet. When approved by Cabinet, their decision will ensure rational and logical planning in the Edmonton metropolitan area and a better quality of life for all of its residents.


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PUBLIC RELATIONS


Introduction During the past year, residents of the metro region have been exposed to a flood of information about Edmonton's annexation application. Much of this has been highly technical — and the size of the application has provoked very vocal opposition from affected communities — opposition frequently based more on emotion than fact The City of Edmonton has spent a great deal of time and money preparing its application, presenting it to the Local Authorities Board — and more time and money defending it against challenges. City Council did not authorize and approve this application simply to increase the geographical size of Edmonton — nor just to obtain tax revenues from "refinery row." Council acted to solve a serious problem which affects all residents of the area. Anything less would have been irresponsible. Stripped of rhetoric and emotion, the basic facts remain unchanged: • The metro region has grown rapidly in the past decade and continued massive growth is inevitable. • This growth will be greater than anything previously experienced and cannot be stopped, only controlled. • The present multi-jurisdictional planning structure is inequitable and doesn't work well. In fact, it is increasing the problems. • Edmonton no longer has land for heavy industry, and by the early 1990's will be out of land for light industry and residential development.

• The situation is serious now, and will become critical in the next 10-20 years unless a solution is found in the near future. The Local Authorities Board heard the City's application, supported by the opinions of experts in many fields. Their conclusions about the future of the region were not seriously challenged during extensive cross-examination. The Board evaluated 12,000 pages of evidence before reaching a decision. It has now ordered annexation by the City of Edmonton of the City of St. Albert, about half of the County of Strathcona (including Sherwood Park and the chemical/refinery complex), and small areas of other counties. This order must now be confirmed by the Provincial Cabinet which has the power to approve, amend or reject it. The Local Authorities Board has completed its task, making a decision based on facts, not emotions. It is now up to the Cabinet to do the same. In the past, successive provincial governments have ignored or avoided the issue, but this must not be allowed to happen again. A positive decision must be made. The, magnitude of the problems facing the city and metro region dictates that limited or short-term solutions are not acceptable. Cabinet's decision must provide a solution which will permit effective long-range planning for the whole area.


Factual information in this report was obtained from studies prepared by consultants retained by the City of Edmonton, and reports prepared by the Annexation Project Team.

City Consultants:

Dr. Hu Harries Finance and Hu Harries and Associates Economics P.S. Ross and Company

J. Marsh, P. Eng. Wardrop and Associates

Environment

- Finance Dr. J. Lightbody Government Prof., University of Alberta Services

Bob Savage, P. Eng. Underwood McLellan Associates

Transportation and Utilities

Wayne Bowes, P. Eng. DeLeuw Cather (Delcan Limited)

Public Transport

K.C. MacKenzie, MCIP MacKenzie Spencer Associates

Land Use Planning

Dr. Angus Reid Public Opinion Can West Survey Research Surveys Limited

T.J. Plunkett T.J. Plunkett Associates

Government Structure

J. Lore, P. Eng. Agricultural MacKinnon-Allen Limited Impact

E. Levin, MCIP Regional Damas and Smith Limited Planning and Government Structure

This paper is one in a series of five prepared by the City of Edmonton's Public Relations Department The papers are designed to answer some of the most common questions concerning Edmonton's annexation application. Topics deal with Background, Land Use, Government, Taxes and Services, and are available from all public library branches and the Public Relations Department. For more detailed information, call the Annexation Project Team office at 428-2667.

Dr. L Axworthy L T.A. Consultants

A.O. Ackroyd, Q.C. Liden Ackroyd and Company

Government Services

Legal


FORM OF GOVERNMENT a) Unified Local Government Although the provincial government is responsible for the form local government will take if annexation is approved, the City of Edmonton has endorsed a representative structure outlined by Professor Torn Plunkett, Director of the School of Public Administration at Queen's University. This would not simply be an extension of Edmonton's present form of government; rather, it would be a modified version of the existing system, designed to ensure responsiveness to all areas. Professor Plunkett has suggested, in part, that during transition to the new form, St. Albert and Sherwood Park would be designated as wards of the expanded city, electing one representative each to an interim City Council. The interim Council, says Professor Plunkett, would then carry out studies to determine the size and composition of wards, and election procedures for a permanent local government. The studies must be completed within one year after the new boundaries are established. Retaining current names will help the three new wards to preserve their identities. Bylaws now in effect in all jurisdictions would continue for one year, says Professor Plunkett, and be administered by a unified city. Effective collective agreements in the area will be honoured. These general principles have been accepted by the L.A.B. and included in the report as recommendations.

Those of the 800-900 municipal civic servants now working in St. Albert and Strathcona jurisdictions who wish to join the new administration may do so with no loss in remuneration.

b) Two-Tier Government If the province does not approve the unification of the metropolitan area, an additional level of government is a certainty. A two-tier structure would permit the suburbs to continue as separate entities, with the new metro government level assuming responsibility for services such as arterial roads, transit, police, water and sewage. However, Winnipeg is a good example of what can happen with this type of structure. In 1970, when it became apparent that Winnipeg's two-tier system was not going to work, the Manitoba government issued a White Paper outlining the five basic lessons learned from the experience: • A single government body is needed to effectively plan and develop an entire regional area. • Fragmented municipal control leads to dissipation of resources. • A two-ter system cannot correct a wide disparity in the level of services between the various municipalities.


• A two-tier system cannot ensure an equitable tax base. Industrial tax revenues accrue only to the municipality in which the industry is located, despite the fact that residents rely on the larger municipality for a substantial number of social, recreation and transportation services. • There must be a more equitable cost sharing in the provision of cultural, recreation and entertainment facilities. In summary, less than 10 years after the Manitoba government set up the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, it was again forced to intervene. The two-tier system was condemned and a unified local government was established.

as the concurrent loss of contact with the taxpayer. c) Community Identity One of the concerns frequently expressed by affected suburban communities concerns the loss of an identity nurtured and developed over many years. This identity exists because the people in a particular geographic area share common concerns and work together to achieve mutual goals. As well, there is the perceived opportunity to directly influence their local government.

Professor Plunkett describes Winnipeg as an interesting example of the evolution of metropolitan government First, there was the experience with single purpose bodies, similar to those now existing in the Edmonton area. When these proved inadequate, they were replaced by a two-tier multi-purpose form which soon revealed its weaknesses. Finally, there was the move to a unified form of government.

Virtually all metropolitan centres, including Edmonton, consist of distinctive communities. If the annexation application is approved, additional communities will come within the city boundaries, but they will still retain their individual identities. Many of the important characteristics of a community such as the activities of service clubs, youth groups, and churches will be unaffected by annexation. In the final analysis, community spirit and identity depend on the enthusiasm of the people in that community, not on artificial municipal boundaries.

Edmonton can learn a great deal from the study of the Winnipeg experience. The present structure still contains some flaws, but in planning a unified system, these can be corrected in advance.

With respect to the ability of suburban residents to influence their local government, Sherwood Park and St. Albert as individual wards, will have direct representation on the new Council.

A significant disadvantage of a two-tier system is the additional cost of another layer of government, as well

Interestingly enough, a survey conducted in November 1978 by Dr. Angus Reid, president of Canwest Survey Research, found that despite


living in a larger community, Edmontonians feel they are better informed on civic issues than their counterparts in Sherwood Park and. St. Albert. City residents also tend to 'be more active in personally bringing their concerns to the attention of the local government. This higher citizen awareness and involvement is not unusual, given the much greater media coverage of community concerns. As indicated elsewhere in this report, the very serious problems existing in the metropolitan area affect all residents, not just those in Edmonton, St. Albert or Sherwood Park The word community comes from the Latin word "communitas" meaning share," and it is important that all citizens share equally in planning the future of the greater Edmonton "community."


Annexation @itionton

0-

Taxation

PUBLIC RELATIONS


Introduction During the past year, residents of the metro region have been exposed to a flood of information about Edmonton's annexation application. Much of this has been highly technical — and the size of the application has provoked very vocal opposition from affected communities — opposition frequently based more on emotion than fact. The City of Edmonton has spent a great deal of time and money preparing its application, presenting it to the Local Authorities Board — and more time and money defending it against challenges. City Council did not authorize and approve this application simply to increase the geographical size of Edmonton — nor just to obtain tax revenues from "refinery row." Council acted to solve a serious problem which affects all residents of the area. Anything less would have been irresponsible. Stripped of rhetoric and emotion, the basic facts remain unchanged: • The metro region has grown rapidly in the past decade and continued massive growth is inevitable. • This growth will be greater than anything previously experienced and cannot be stopped, only controlled. • The present multi-jurisdictional planning structure is inequitable and doesn't work well. In fact, it is increasing the problems. • Edmonton no longer has land for heavy industry, and by the early 1990's will be out of land for light industry and residential development

• The situation is serious now, and will become critical in the next 10-20 years unless a solution is found in the near future. The Local Authorities Board heard the City's application, supported by the opinions of experts in many fields. Their conclusions about the future of the region were not seriously challenged during extensive cross-examination. The Board evaluated 12,000 pages of evidence before reaching a decision. It has now ordered annexation by the City of Edmonton of the City of St. Albert, about half of the County of Strathcona (including Sherwood Park and the chemical/refinery complex), and small areas of other counties. This order must now be confirmed by the Provincial Cabinet which has the power to approve, amend or reject it. The Local Authorities Board has completed its task, making a decision based on facts, not emotions. It is now up to the Cabinet to do the same. In the past, successive provincial governments have ignored or avoided the issue, but this must not be allowed to happen again. A positive decision must be made. The, magnitude of the problems facing the city and metro region dictates that limited or short-term solutions are not acceptable. Cabinet's decision must provide a solution which will permit effective long-range planning for the whole area.


Factual information in this report was obtained from studies prepared by consultants retained by the City of Edmonton, and reports prepared by the Annexation Project Team.

City Consultants:

Finance and Dr. Hu Harries Hu Harries and Associates Economics

J. Marsh, P. Eng. Wardrop and Associates

Environment

P.S. Ross and Company

Finance

Bob Savage, P. Eng. Underwood McLellan Associates

Transportation and Utilities

Wayne Bowes, P. Eng. DeLeuw Cather (Dekali Limited)

Public Transport

K.C. MacKenzie, MC1P MacKenzie Spencer Associates

Land Use Planning

Dr. Angus Reid Public Opinion Can West Survey Research Surveys Limited

T.J. Plunkett T.J. Plunkett Associates

Government Structure

J. Lore, P. Eng. MacKinnon-Allen Limited

Agricultural Impact

E. Levin, MCI? Damas and Smith Limited

Regional Planning and Government Structure

A. O. Ackroyd, Q. C. Liden Ackroyd and Company

Legal

This paper is one in a series of five prepared by the City of Edmonton's Public Relations Department The papers are designed to answer some of the most common questions concerning Edmonton's annexation application. Topics deal with Background, Land Use, Government, Taxes and Services, and are available from all public library branches and the PubliC Relations Department. For more detailed information, call the Annexation Project Team office at 428-2667.

Dr. J. Lightbody Government Prof., University of Alberta Services

Dr. L Axworthy L T.A. Consultants

Government Services


TAX CONSIDERATIONS One of the greatest advantages of a single government for the Edmonton region is the long-term effect on taxation. a) Residential: The tax level in any municipality largely depends on the ratio of residential to non-residential (business and industrial) assessment. Edmonton's 1979 ratio was 66 per cent residential to 34 per cent non-residential; Strathcona was 45/55; St. Albert 92/8; Parkland 36/64; and Sturgeon 45/55. COMPARATIVE RESIDENTIAL/ NON-RESIDENTIAL RATIOS Non1979 Residential Residential Edmonton 66% 34% Strathcona 45 55 St. Albert 92 8 Parkland 36 64 Sturgeon 45 55 After NonAnnexation Residential Residential Edmonton 66% 34% Strathcona 66 34 St Albert 66 34 Parkland 34 66 Sturgeon 47 53

COMPARATIVE MUNICIPAL TAXES FOR THE AVERAGE, SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE CI 1980 Without Annexation $308 Edmonton 517 St Albert Sherwood Park 295

With Annexation (**). $291 308 292

1996 Without Annexation Edmonton $272 St Albert 701. Sherwood Park 456

With Annexation (**) $256 271 257

(') All figures are in 1979 dollars and do not include school board ass essments. ( • "1 Assessed value on the "typical" residence varies slightly.

Fig. 5

Because Edmonton's assessment base of more than $2 billion is so large compared to St. Albert at $92 million, and Strathcona at $240 million, annexation will not have an appreciable effect on the mill rate or residential taxes in the city itself. These figures are pre-general assessment and equalized for comparative purposes.

Fig. 4

When annexation is approved, residential taxes in St. Albert will drop immediately, while those in Sherwood Park will remain about the same.

After annexation, a leveling effect will occur, with the greatest benefit to St. Albert which now has the lowest industrial assessment The ratio will remain at 66/34 for Edmonton, and change to 66/34 for both St. Albert and Strathcona. Parkland will have 34/66 and Sturgeon will change to 47/53.

In 1980 without annexation, the projected municipal tax on the typical single family residence would be $308 in Edmonton, $517 in St. Albert, and $295 in Sherwood Park. With annexation, the tax in 1980 for Edmonton would be $291, St. Albert $308, and Sherwood Park $292.


The impact in 1996 is even more dramatic. Without annexation, municipal taxes would be $272 in Edmonton, $701 in St Albert, and $456 in Sherwood Park. With annexation, the tax would be $256 in Edmonton, $271 in St. Albert, and $257 in Sherwood Park (All figures are in 1979 dollars. The drop in Edmonton taxes with annexation results from reduced operating costs with a stable boundary.)

b) Non-Residential (Business and Industrial): Taxes for the chemical/refinery complex on the eastern edge of the City will not increase, and may decrease slightly, if annexation is approved. Although warehouses and other commercial businesses without equipment located in Strathcona, Parkland and Sturgeon will pay higher taxes, this will be offset by improved municipal services, including fire and police protection. Edmonton's application recommends that rural land taxes in the proposed annexation area should be about the same as those paid in adjacent areas like the Counties of Beaver and Lamont, and the Municipal District of Sturgeon. The City proposes there be no increase in taxes paid on bona fide farming operations, as distinct from small hobby farms or acreages.

c) Capital Spending Over the long-term, annexation should provide lower-cost government for the entire region and result in a slower growth of the tax rate. Services now duplicated by several governments would be unified —for example, a single agency would purchase goods and services in bulk rather than in the smaller quantities now required by individual municipalities, thus reducing costs. Annexation will have little effect on total capital spending in the affected metropolitan region. This is expected to increase by less than three per cent, despite the larger area and population, because Edmonton's capital expenditures are now so large compared to those of the suburban areas, the additional amounts will not significantly change the total. As well, many of the City's current expenditures now relate to regional demands, such as transportation facilities necessary to accommodate suburbanites commuting to jobs in Edmonton.


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Annexation ektionton

Services PUBLIC RELATIONS


Introduction During the past year, residents of the metro region have been exposed to a flood of information about Edmonton's annexation application. Much of this has been highly technical — and the size of the application has provoked very vocal opposition from affected communities — opposition frequently based more on emotion than fact. The City of Edmonton has spent a great deal of time and money preparing its application, presenting it to the Local Authorities Board — and more time and money defending it against challenges. City Council did not authorize and approve this application simply to increase the geographical size of Edmonton — nor just to obtain tax revenues from "refinery row." Council acted to solve a serious problem which affects all residents of the area. Anything less would have been irresponsible. Stripped of rhetoric and emotion, the basic facts remain unchanged: • The metro region has grown rapidly in the past decade and continued massive growth is inevitable. • This growth will be greater than anything previously experienced and cannot be stopped, only controlled. • The present multi-jurisdictional planning structure is inequitable and doesn't work well. In fact, it is increasing the problems. • Edmonton no longer has land for heavy industry, and by the early 1990's will be out of land for light industry and residential development

• The situation is serious now, and will become critical in the next 10-20 years unless a solution is found in the near future. The Local Authorities Board heard the City's application, supported by the opinions of experts in many fields. Their conclusions about the future of the region were not seriously challenged during extensive cross-examination. The Board evaluated 12,000 pages of evidence before reaching a decision. It has now ordered annexation by the City of Edmonton of the City of St. Albert, about half of the County of Strathcona (including Sherwood Park and the chemical/refinery complex), and small areas of other counties. This order must now be confirmed by the Provincial Cabinet which has the power to approve, amend or reject it.

The Local Authorities Board has completed its task, making a decision based on facts, not emotions. It is now up to the Cabinet to do the same. In the past, successive provincial governments have ignored or avoided the issue, but this must not be allowed to happen again. A positive decision must be made. The, magnitude of the problems facing the city and metro region dictates that limited or short-term solutions are not acceptable. Cabinet's decision must provide a solution which will permit effective long-range planning for the whole area.


Factual information in this report was obtained from studies prepared by consultants retained by the City of Edmonton, and reports prepared by the Annexation Project Team.

City Consultants:

Finance and Dr. Hu Harries Hu Harries and Associates Economics

J. Marsh, P. Eng. Wardrop and Associates

Environment

P.S. Ross and Company

Finance

Bob Savage, P. Eng. Underwood McLellan Associates

Transportation and Utilities

Wayne Bowes, P. Eng. DeLeuw Cather (Delcan Limited)

Public Transport

K.C. MacKenzie, MCIP MacKenzie Spencer Associates

Land Use Planning

Dr. Angus Reid Public Opinion CanWest Survey Research Surveys Limited

T.J. Plunkett T.J. Plunkett Associates

Government Structure

J. Lore, P. Eng. MacKinnon-Allen Limited

Agricultural Impact

E. Levin, MCIP Damas and Smith Limited

Regional Planning and Government Structure

A.O. Ackroyd, Q.C. Liden Ackroyd and Company

Legal

This paper is one in a series of five prepared by the City of Edmonton's Public Relations Department. The papers are designed to answer some of the most common questions concerning Edmonton's annexation application. Topics deal with Background, Land Use, Government, Taxes and Services, and are available from all public library branches and the Public Relations Department. For more detailed information, call the Annexation Project Team office at 428-2667.

Dr. J. Lightbody Government Prof., University of Alberta Services

Dr. L Axworthy E.T.A. Consultants

Government Services


SERVICES a) Transportation: The City of Edmonton currently faces serious difficulties in the planning, design and construction of public transit and transportation facilities. In many instances, these accommodate large traffic demands generated by communities on the city's periphery. At present, transportation problems are most severe in the northwest sector of the city, due largely to the demands of St. Albert commuters travelling to and from work in Edmonton. Planning and construction of new roadways in this area are complicated by the fact that four jurisdictions have responsibility for roadway facility design, construction and maintenance in the St. Albert corridor. Over-lapping responsibilities occur at all levels of government operations. At the present time, Edmonton is required to interact and negotiate with at least three dozen government jurisdictions in the metropolitan region, a most confusing and inefficient system. One of the City's engineering consultants conducted a thorough cost and operating assessment of the metro area's transit systems. It recommends Edmonton proceed with full integration of the urban transit operations in St. Albert and Sherwood Park. The report maintains that Edmonton citizens will notice very little difference in the operation and cost of their

transit service, if integration takes place. Residents of St. Albert and Sherwood Park will get better service, but will have to pay more. An integrated service should offer more attractive and convenient transit routing, scheduling and service. More major destinations could be served between the two communities in the core area, saving travel time and transfer inconvenience. With the expected increase in the level of transit demand, express bus operation would be feasible earlier than would be possible under separate systems. Increasing fuel costs will, of course, make transit services a much more atia-active option for commuters driving to work. The report concludes that with the full resources of Edmonton Transit planning and marketing behind the integrated system, and the commitment to public transit currently exhibited by the City of Edmonton, ridership would grow substantially faster, and to a higher level than would be obtained with separate systems. If the three transit systems are fully integrated, residents of Sherwood Park and St. Albert can expect to pay approximately $30 more annually to cover operating costs. This would rise to a per capita differential of about $61 by 1996. Improvements in service and benefits in other taxing areas will more than offset this increase.


b) Roads: The existing arterial road system is currently planned to meet regional requirements. However, the need to upgrade access to the central city and extend the program of roadway building in inter-city communities has increased significantly, as a consequence of metropolitan area development beyond Edmonton's current boundaries. Annexation will have only a limited effect on money budgeted for future area road systems, since these tend to be more sensitive to provincial funding. Nevertheless, pooled financial resources and a unified approach to roadway planning means more effective development of a regional system. Most important, costs of building and maintaining inner-city roadways to meet the demand generated by bordering communities will be more equitably shared by all residents of the region.

c) Fire Protection: When the LAB's- annexation order is approved, there will be a major improvement in fire protection provided to the annexed areas. Every fire hall will automatically be backed-up by another, near-by unit. At present, St. Albert and Sherwood Park crews (made up largely of volunteer firefighters) must first get to the fire, assess the need for extra help, and then call the nearest municipality. Under annexation, a second crew would respond immediately, and only turn back if radioed that extra help was not needed. Eighteen months after annexation takes place, volunteer firemen will have been replaced by full-time firefighters, ready to respond immediately. This, together with additional equipment and new fire halls where necessary, will mean an improved response time to the affected areas.

Because manpower isn't available to carry out fire safety inspections and ensure compliance with accepted standards, there are now only minimal fire prevention activities in the suburban areas. When annexation occurs, the Edmonton Fire Department will add more full-time fire inspectors to its current complement of 28. Increased fire prevention programs will help reduce the incidence and consequences of fire. As well, the Edmonton Fire Department can provide specialized firefighting services to those areas with special problems, such as the chemical! refinery complex. The need for these specialized services was dramatically demonstrated during the September, 1981 Turbo refinery fire. The blaze caused several millions of dollars damage, and at that time, it was discovered the County of Strathcona's water transmission system could not handle all of the water supplied by City mains. The City believes the County has been irresponsible in approving urban development without requiring the necessary support services. Not only was the County's water system inadequate, but City of Edmonton fire fighters and police officers had to be called in to help. It is likely the improved protective services will result in reduced fire insurance premiums for the annexed areas. The quality of service now available in the City is evidenced by its insurance rating of three. In comparison, Sherwood Park's rating is six and St. Albert's seven.

d) Police Protection: To avoid disruption of police services in the areas proposed for annexation, the City will begin negotiations with


the R.C.M.P. and provincial government prior to any boundary adjustrnent. R.C.M.P. service would be continued for a maximum of three years, after which the City would assume full responsibility for policing the entire area. A study by Edmonton's Police Department of the requirements for an extension of jurisdiction indicates there will be little difficulty in providing adequate protection for the new areas. This is contingent on reaching a satisfactory agreement for a staged transition of federal police responsibility. The Alberta Solicitor General's Department has no reservations about such an agreement. The Police Department study forecasts immediate expansion of service to the affected areas of the County of Parkland, major portions of the Municipal District of Sturgeon, and the area south of the city limits now policed by the Leduc Detachment of the R.C.M.P. Six months after the annexation date, service will be extended to the affected portions of the area now serviced by the Sherwood Park R.C.M.P. Transition of policing responsibility for St. Albert could be accomplished within 12 months.

e) Public Housing: There is a whole range of facilities and services which outlying communities cannot afford or do not wish to provide, and public housing is one example. There is none in St. Albert or Sherwood Park, but public housing is essential if a mixed population balance is to be maintained. With rising housing and land costs, this type of facility must be made available to accommodate citizens with fixed or low incomes. Edmonton currently pays for public housing not only for its own residents, but also for those from surrounding communities who for one reason or another, find it necessary to live in less expensive accommodation. In this, as in other areas, Edmonton once again carries the financial burden of a service used by all metro residents. The community as a whole must be responsible for assisting its citizens — not just one municipality.

f) Solid Wastes: The collection of garbage in the proposed annexation area will remain basically the same since the systems are already regional in nature. The City of Edmonton owns and operates the disposal sites, with municipal departments and private companies collecting garbage. Existing operations will, at least in the short term, continue regardless of political boundaries.


g) Utilities:

Industrial, commercial and residential development in the communities surrounding Edmonton has reached unprecedented levels during the past few years. The problem of providing utilities is reaching critical proportions because of this growth. Municipalities have generally had control over development in their own areas, and for years have given developers a green light, assuming the City of Edmonton would automatically provide the required services. This inequitable situation cannot continue. There must be much greater coordination between the municipality granting development permits, and the authority which has to provide services. Logically, both responsibilities should come under a unified jurisdiction. (1) Water: Edmonton now supplies water on a contract basis to St. Albert, Strathcona (including Sherwood Park), Canadian Forces Base Namao, Inland Cement, Alberta Hospital and other municipalities outside the proposed annexation area. The system can be readily expanded to cover additional requirements, and the cost will not be significant because the basic services are already in place. Monthly average water rates (1979) in Edmonton were $9.24,

lower than Sherwood Park's $11.60, and higher than St. Albert's $7.84. If annexation is approved, a unified rate structure will likely be set up and water costs to Edmonton residents should not increase. In the next 30 years, water usage within the present city limits is projected to increase by about 30 per cent. During the same period, water consumption in the area proposed for annexation will increase by more than 400 per cent Therefore, City water facilities will be expanded primarily to service suburban communities. At the present time, about 12 per cent of total water sales are outside Edmonton and thus subject to regulation by the Public Utilities Board. If annexation takes place, only three per cent would be regulated. By the year 2020, without annexation of the areas served, about 41 per cent of the City's water sales will be regulated, as opposed to only 13 per cent if annexation occurs. A recent Public Utilities Board decision lowered suburban water rates retroactive to 1976. This means water rates for Edmonton residents must be increased to pay the deficit. To remove regulatory uncertainties, to plan more effectively, and to receive a reasonable revenue from capital investments by City-owned utilities, Edmonton should control the area it services.


(2) `edmonton telephones' and Edmonton Power: Edmonton is unique among major Canadian urban centres in that it owns and operates both its power and telephone utilities. Profits reduce the general residential tax burden. During 1978, the total contribution by the two utilities to City coffers was $20.75 million. Edmonton Power transferred $3.85 million plus $8.5 million paid in taxes, while `edmonton telephones' contributed $2.4 million in addition to more than $6 million paid in taxes. Both telephone and power rates for Edmonton residents compare favourably with those in St. Albert and Sherwood Park. The average `edmonton telephones' customer pays $6.50 a month, while Alberta Government Telephones' customers pay $6.60. Edmonton Power residential users pay an average of $14.50, while the average Calgary Power customer pays $17.26. If Edmonton Power and `edmonton telephones' are given the right to service the annexed areas, they would contribute additional revenues, further reducing the general tax levy for all residents.

(3) Sewage: Edmonton already provides sewage disposal services to Sherwood Park, CFB Namao, Inland Cement and the Alberta Hospital. After annexation, St. Albert's treatment plant will become part of the Water and Sanitation Department. Since the basic system is already in place, existing sewer and treatment systems can be readily expanded without incurring significant additional expenditure. Edmonton customers pay $3.60 a month for sewage service, Sherwood Park, $3.60; and St. Albert, $4.00. These differentials will be eliminated with annexation, and the flat rate will level off at about the current city rate.

h) Education: School and political boundaries are usually the same (coterminous), but the Local Authorities Board has correctly pointed out that this is a decision for the Minister of Education to make. If the boundaries were made coterminous, the main effect of amalgamation would be to give suburban pupils better access to specialized programs now beyond the resources of individual municipalities.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS A unified jurisdiction has the ability to provide more effective environmental protection safeguards than a multiplicity of authorities. Such is the conclusion of a major study undertaken by one of the City's consulting firms. The study maintains that a larger municipality tends to install and operate utility systems with longer-term effects in mind. This benefits the environment, because sewage effluent will receive more sophisticated treatment under a unified government structure. Moreover, the more compact pattern of urban development which would occur with annexation, has positive environmental implications since it would result in the greater preservation and protection of agricultural lands. As well, the reduction of urban sprawl would control rural residential development (acreages) which adversely affect the environment. Finally, the proposed boundary and rationalized development patterns would ensure a more satisfactory spatial separation of industrial and residential areas, and result in a more efficient and less disruptive transportation system. Overall, a unified governmental authority for the metro region would offer a greater degree of environmental protection than existing fragmented conditions.

Edmonton (Alta.) - 1980 - Edmonton's annexation application_a series of public information brochures  

Contents: 1. Annexation - background.--2. Annexation - land use.--3. Annexation - form of government.--4. Annexation - taxation.--5. Annexat...

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