M.D. votes to enter 2020 Highway 3 Twinning membership

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M.D. of Pincher Creek council made the decision to pay the 2020 membership fee of $1,482.5 to sit on the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association during the February 25 council meeting.

The motion, which was put forward by Councillor Bev Everts, was ultimately passed in a 3 – 2 vote, with councillors Rick Lemire and Quentin Stevick voting against paying the membership fee.

After voting against paying the fee during the November 12, 2019 meeting, the item was brought back to council’s attention last month.

After further consideration upon receiving new information during a recent joint council meeting, M.D. council once again voted on whether or not they wanted to pay the 2020 membership fee and be involved in the year’s discussions surrounding the project.

Reeve Brian Hammond said that the development association’s presentation to the M.D. council during the most recent joint council meeting made him feel more inclined to be involved.

“They encouraged us to become members for a number of reasons, and they did a reasonable job at explaining how things have changed, and how things are moving forward,” said Hammond.

“That’s something they perhaps have not done as well for a number of years past,” he said.

Councillor Bev Everts, who had supported the M.D. remaining a member during the November 12 vote, said her stance regarding the matter had not changed.

“My position hasn’t changed.  I feel that we are an integral part of Highway 3,” said Everts.

“I understand that studies have been done, however through our municipality and as an advocacy body, we are greater as a voice together than we are separate,” she said.

“There’s more opportunity if we come as a unified force. We can be advocating to our provincial government going forward.”

Councillor Quentin Stevick said he believes council should stick to their decision, and said it’s bad practice to go back on decisions already made.

“I do want to bring attention to everyone here… that on November 12, 2019, the same item was brought forward and voted down,” said Stevick.

“My comment is to my fellow councillors, if you don’t like a vote, do you just keep bringing it back until you get your way?”

It was observed by CAO Troy MacCulloch that new information received at the regional council meeting was the cause of the item being brought forward once again, and not necessarily the interests of other council members.

Councillor Terry Yagos said that the development plan currently laid out regarding the twinning of Highway 3 showed promise.

“Instead of doing it all in one big project, they want to take small sections at a time to keep the project going. It sounds like something that will keep Highway 3 alive, but it will probably take 20 years to finish it,” said Yagos.

The fee of $1,482.5 was set by a price of 50-cents per capita.