Annexation - High Level Airport
The Town of High Level is proposing to annex lands within Mackenzie County, including the High Level Airport which is currently located within Mackenzie County.
As part of the Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework negotiations, the Town of High Level and Mackenzie County agreed to the annexation of the lands shown in figure 1.
All the lands to be annexed are Town-owned or Crown lands. There will be little, or no, impact to privately-owned land. The High Level Airport sits on land owned by the Town. The consolidation of the affected land into the Town will provide more effective servicing for the airport lands and provide for a better and more efficient planning and development of the lands to reflect the intent, goals, and objectives of the Town of High Level.
Other lands at the Airport are owned by the Province of Alberta and utilized by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry for Alberta Wildfire’s administrative offices and its airtanker base. The private residences and commercial buildings at the Airport are on land leased from either the Town or the Province.
The Town of High Level is pursuing this annexation to allow the Town to better manage the High Level Airport and the Town’s water source at Footner Lake, which are currently located within Mackenzie County.
The Town will be providing opportunities for public consultation to ensure the public, landowners, and affected stakeholders are made aware of the annexation application and have an opportunity to provide input before the matter is considered by the Land and Property Rights Tribunal. Public consultation also offers the Town of High Level an opportunity to develop an understanding of concerns raised and to establish applicable mitigation measures, if required.
The Town of High Level has made direct contact with the landowners located within the area proposed for annexation (the relevant Provincial Departments and Agencies) and to local authorities impacted by the annexation (such as utility companies). The Town has also reached out to the Dene Tha’ First Nation and the Beaver First Nation and will provide opportunities for the residents of the Town of High Level and Mackenzie County to ask questions and have input into the annexation process.
Annexation within Alberta is a provincially legislated process where a municipality changes or expands its jurisdictional boundaries. In general, the reason that municipalities annex lands is for the purpose of accommodating future population growth, although annexation sometimes occurs to accommodate natural features in the environment, roadways, or infrastructure.
Conformance with Strategic Plan
This Proposed Annexation conforms with the Town of High Level’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan through:
Goal #1 – Vibrant Economy – Opportunities generated that deliver economic growth, diversity, and strengthen our sustainability for both the Town and the region.
Goal #2 – Infrastructure, Growth and Reliability - Community needs are met with reliable infrastructure and attractive shared spaces.
The purpose of the public consultation is to ensure there are opportunities for the public, landowners, and affected stakeholders to be made aware of the annexation application and have an opportunity to provide input before the matter is considered by the Land and Property Rights Tribunal.
Public consultation also offers the Town of High Level an opportunity to develop an understanding of concerns raised and to establish applicable mitigation measures, if required.