Shock, disappointment, uncertainty an understatement
In three words: disappointed, shocked and uncertain … that is how we would describe our reaction to council’s decision to give third and final reading/approval to its new Municipal Development Plan (MDP) on July 18 despite its stated intention of consulting with surrounding towns and giving final consideration on Aug. 15.
We are disappointed that council would disregard the planning, financing and servicing rationale we have put forward over the last number of months. We are disappointed that the county would disregard the fact that the majority of landowners in the Netook area expressed their support for the development’s original vision at council’s recent public hearing. This is a vision that will now be stymied by council’s shortsighted approval. We are disappointed that council did not give greater consideration to the impact this decision would have on its taxpayers and the taxpayers of Olds who also stood to benefit from Netook through revenue-sharing agreements.
We are frankly shocked that council approved the MDP despite concerns expressed by the Town of Olds at the public hearing that the MDP conflicts with the approved Memorandum of Agreement in place between the two governing bodies. We are not aware that these concerns have been resolved. In fact, taxpayers have no way of knowing if any of the concerns expressed at the public hearing were addressed in the final MDP. Council provided no summary, explanation or response to what was heard through this “engagement” process at its July 18 meeting.
Finally, we are uncertain about what this will all mean for the future of Netook and as important, the future of MVC and its taxpayers. What we do know for certain is that approving an MDP that completely disregards approved plans, agreements and undertakings upon which substantial investments were made will cast a dark shadow on the future economic development efforts for Mountain View County.
As taxpayers who believed in this county, to say we are disappointed, shocked and left uncertain about the future of MVC is a clear understatement.
Herb Styles and Terry Johnston
Netook Developers and MVC taxpayers