There is uncertainty in Granum about the future of the Alberta community and whether it will remain a town or dissolve and be part of the Municipal District of Willow Creek.
Granum no longer has a complete council and is in the midst of a provincial viability review to determine what changes are necessary for the town to remain viable.
“We can’t continue this way,” said Ken Anderson, who has lived in Granum for 22 years.
“We have to have consistent governance and consistent management or this town will not work.”
It began with the town’s CAO and three municipal staff going on sick leave earlier this year. Then both the mayor and deputy mayor resigned, followed by the resignation of a councillor, leaving the town with a council of just two people.
With Granum council unable to reach quorum and make any decisions, the provincial government stepped in and assigned an official administrator to act as council.
“I’m not going to be making recommendations to change services or service levels during my appointment,” said Harold Johnsrude, Granum’s official administrator.
“My appointment is to just make sure that the services continue in a reasonable manner.”
The province’s viability review of Granum will examine the town’s governance, finances, infrastructure and services. It’s expected to be completed by the end of the year.
If Granum decides to continue as a town after assessing the viability review, a by-election would need to take place to fill vacancies on town council.
Residents hope their community can move forward, regardless of the outcome.
“The future of Granum rests in the people’s hands,” said resident Gabriel Potter.
“I think they should get together and move together that way, in one direction, and not five different directions.”
Granum is located about 60 kilometres west of Lethbridge.
Statistics Canada’s 2016 census recorded Granum’s population as 406.