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Enterprise to become hamlet

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Monday, August 20, 2007

ENTERPRISE - Enterprise - now officially a settlement - will become a hamlet in October.

Michael McLeod, the minister of municipal and community affairs (MACA), announced his approval of the change of status in the Legislative Assembly on Aug. 16.

The switch will take place on Oct. 29.

"I would like to congratulate the community of Enterprise for taking this very important step towards greater autonomy," McLeod said.

The minister said Enterprise has chosen Oct. 1 to elect a hamlet council. For the first time, the community will have the authority to elect a mayor separate from the rest of council.

The new hamlet, which will have the same boundaries as the current settlement, will become the owner of the municipal infrastructure currently owned by the GNWT

The change of status, which has been discussed for over a year, was initiated by a petition to the minister from settlement residents.

McLeod said there are many benefits to the community becoming a hamlet, including the power to pass legally enforceable bylaws; the authority to create land management and development schemes; the ability to acquire and dispose of property; and authority over capital programs and infrastructure.

In April, McLeod posted a notice stating he intended to order the change of status.

The notice included a 90-day period ending July 23, during which objections could be submitted to MACA.

Eleanor Young, the director of community operations with MACA, said only one letter was received opposing the change.

That letter came from Enterprise resident Karl Mueller, who said he and others are against the idea.

Mueller argued in his letter that many Enterprise residents do not fully understand the difference between a hamlet and a settlement, and he also expressed concern about a possible increase in property taxes.

Enterprise is a community of about 90 people located 38 kilometres south of Hay River.