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First and second readings passed on Pembina Hills electoral ward bylaw

Pembina Hills will save estimated $20,000 per year by eliminating one trustee
Electoral Wards copy
This graphic supplied by Pembina Hills shows the six wards that will encompass the school division if Bylaw 06-2020 is passed by trustees. The blue section represents Pembina Hills West — Ward 1, while the purple area is Pembina Hills West — Ward 2. The green and yellow areas are Pembina Hills East — Ward 1 and 2 respectively. The towns of Barrhead and Westlock are Pembina Hills West and East — Ward 3.

The Pembina Hills board is one motion away from reducing the total number of trustees from seven to six, but the matter will now have to wait until the Aug. 5 meeting.

During their June 24 meeting, trustees passed the first two readings on Bylaw 06-2020, which establishes the following six wards:

Pembina Hills East — Ward 1 will cover Busby School and Eleanor Hall School in Clyde. It encompasses Westlock County municipal subdivisions 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Pembina Hills East — Ward 2 will cover Pembina North Community School in Dapp and the two Hutterite Colony schools. It will encompass Westlock County municipal subdivisions 3, 6 and 7, as well as the portion of the MD of Lesser Slave River that falls within Pembina Hills’ boundaries.

Pembina Hills West — Ward 1 will cover Neerlandia Public Christian School and Dunstable School. It will also encompass County of Barrhead subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7.

Pembina Hills West — Ward 2 will cover Fort Assiniboine School and Swan Hills School, effectively eliminating the trustee position for Swan Hills that is current vacant.

It will also encompass County of Barrhead subdivision 6 and the portions of Woodlands County and Big Lakes County that fall within Pembina Hills’ boundaries.

Finally, Pembina Hills East — Ward 3 will cover the Town of Westlock, while Pembina Hills West — Ward 3 will be centred on the Town of Barrhead.

There was no further debate around the proposed electoral boundaries at the June 24 meeting. Trustees quickly voted to pass first and second reading, but did not unanimously vote to proceed to third reading.

As such, a vote on third reading of the bylaw will have to wait until the board meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Because there is a municipal election slated for next year, the board has until Dec. 31, 2020 in order to change the division’s current electoral boundaries, which have been in place since the formation of Pembina Hills in 1995.

Kevin Berger,