City Releases Amalgamation Report

Friday, January 06, 2012 - 4:45 AM

The City of St. John's has released the "St. John's Amalgamation Review 2011 Report" prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd., and the final version submitted to the City in October, 2011.

"We wanted to take the time for substantial internal review and discussion before releasing the report to the public," says Mayor Dennis O'Keefe.

The Report, prepared at an approximate cost of $34,000, does recommend that the City pursue amalgamation with Mount Pearl and parts of Paradise. More comprehensive municipal regional planning and better coordination of regional economic development initiatives are highlighted as major benefits of amalgamation. Amalgamation would also achieve a more equitable distribution of regional service costs.

The Report does project that tax rates in St. John's will initially decline as a result of amalgamation, while rates in Mount Pearl and Paradise will rise. This is due primarily to the more equitable distribution of municipal service costs among the actual users of those services. In the longer term, by 2019 tax rates in both St. John's and Mount Pearl are projected to be lower than they would be if no amalgamation takes place.

"The report does identify the regional benefits of amalgamation, but a consensus on moving forward does not presently exist," says Mayor O'Keefe. "The City recognizes that neither Mount Pearl nor Paradise are supportive of any form of voluntary amalgamation at this time and the provincial government will not force amalgamation. But we continue to believe that amalgamation would be in the best interests of the region and that it will eventually happen."

Mayor O'Keefe said the City will therefore shift gears and refocus our energies on enhancing cooperation among municipalities throughout the region and expanding the regional service delivery model.

"Regional service delivery has significantly improved drinking water quality, wastewater management, solid waste management and fire protection," says Mayor O'Keefe. "And it can work for the delivery of other municipal services as well."

Click to view a full copy of the report.

For further information:
Jennifer Mills
Communications Officer
City of St. John's
Phone: 709-570-2037
Cell: 709-690-7586

Dennis O'Keefe
City of St. John's
Phone: 709-576-8477
Cell: 709-685-5657