The village of Hythe will be officially dissolved as an autonomous municipality and will become a hamlet on July 1. The dissolution of the village of Hythe was made official following an Order in Council approved by the provincial government on Wednesday.
The village requested a viability review from the province in April 2020, revealing that it is struggling financially and cannot meet its growing operating costs and infrastructure needs. When the vote took place in March 2021, 95% of residents voted to join Grande Prairie County as a hamlet.
County Reeve Leanne Beaupré says there is still a lot of work to be done between regional staff as he tries to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“Our staff and administration have been working in the background since the vote, and there is a lot of work to be done, to determine what the village’s liabilities are and what assets need to be transferred.”
Ahead of the sustainability vote, Hythe Mayor Brian Petersen said an audit found an infrastructure deficit of $ 14.2 million over the next 10 years. An additional backlog of infrastructure repairs also totaled $ 8.5 million for projects between 2031 and 2040.
“We get a transition grant from the province, and that helps offset some of the costs,” says Beaupré, “and there is also some funding that is available to meet some immediate infrastructure needs.
Beaupré says another important role for the county is to make sure they are there to hear and allay residents’ concerns. She says that while the transition becomes official early next month, they know the work will continue well for the foreseeable future. She adds that they will also work closely with current Hythe Village Council members to ensure that no urgent needs fall through the cracks.
“Some of us [on] The board knows the area fairly well because we grew up in this area, but other board members may not be as aware of what Hythe has to offer. We accepted the current council’s invitation to go out and spend the day with them, ”she adds.
Beaupré says advisers will wait until public health restrictions have been lifted before participating in the in-person visit.