Granum to formally become hamlet of Municipal District of Willow Creek

Click to play video: 'Granum to be dissolved into Municipal District of Willow Creek' Granum to be dissolved into Municipal District of Willow Creek
WATCH: As of midnight on Feb. 1, the town of Granum will be no more. As Taz Dhaliwal reports, Alberta's smallest town is just hours away from becoming a hamlet in the M.D. of Willow Creek. – Jan 31, 2020

As of midnight on Feb. 1, the town of Granum, Alta. will be no more.

After a tumultuous year for the small community, which sits at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 519 west of Lethbridge, residents voted to dissolve the town in the fall of 2019.

READ MORE: Residents vote to dissolve Town of Granum into M.D. of Willow Creek

Alberta’s smallest town, Granum, will become a hamlet within the Municipal District of Willow Creek.

On Thursday, the Municipal District of Willow Creek announced on Twitter that Granum will be dissolved into a hamlet.

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Back in early November, its residents voted in favour of the move, though some are saddened by this week’s announcement.

“My kids are fifth-generation here … my wife is going through a grieving process right now,” said the last person to be Councillor in Granum, Bernie Kennedy.

READ MORE: Future uncertain for Town of Granum, Alta.

Although, the M.D. of Willow Creek says it will be a seamless transition.

Information packages have been sent out to Granum residents containing details about where and how residents can make bill payments if needed. The information package also included the address and contact info for the M.D. of Willow Creek.

Among the more significant changes, the town’s office will be closed.

Click to play video: 'Living in a Saskatchewan Ghost Town' Living in a Saskatchewan Ghost Town
Living in a Saskatchewan Ghost Town – Oct 26, 2018
“The Municipal District of Willow Creek office is located approximately 18 kilometers [away] and we felt in order to reduce the duplication of services, we would close the office in Granum,” said Derrick Krizsan, Chief Administrative Officer of the Municipal District of Willow Creek.
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Krizsan says signs in the town which say ‘Granum’ will not be taken down and one staff member from the soon-to-be-former town will join the M.D. in February.

Taxes are expected to remain the same, however Krizsan says the M.D.’s council will still need to make an official decision within the near future.

“As the viability report that was conducted by municipal affairs, there is an approximate $14.7 million infrastructure deficit in the town of Granum. This is a matter that is going to be addressed over many many years,” Kriszan said.

He says the deficit is an “expected” cost since Granum is in need of some infrastructure work.

Despite money being saved through dissolution, things like infrastructure spending will offset the savings, Kriszan said.

READ MORE: Services on resettled Little Bay Islands, N.L., to shut down Wednesday 

M.D. of Willow Creek Councillor John Kroetsch will now represent the residents of Granum. Bernie Kennedy’s position as the last remaining town councillor in Granum will be dissolved.

“Your shape of representation will be different,” said Kennedy, when he spoke about the political and legal changes Granum is going through.

“John Kroetsch. I like a lot. He’ll be a really good councillor for the area,” he said.

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Kennedy says Kroetsch is someone who truly cares about the residents of Granum and will vouch for their needs, although he points out that having only one representative, as opposed to numerous ones, for the soon-to-be hamlet will certainly have some sort of impact.

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