Two more communities in Hanover have been approved to become Local Urban Districts, or LUDs as they are commonly referred to.
For years, the Rural Municipality of Hanover has had three LUDs; Grunthal, Blumenort and Mitchell. However, the province recently gave its approval that both New Bothwell and Kleefeld will also now have LUDs.
According to the RM of Hanover, LUDs are unincorporated urban areas with a population of at least 250 residents. Travis Doerksen is the Ward One Councillor for Hanover. He explains LUD committees make decisions on beautification projects in their community but also play a role in determining which streets should be upgraded or where to put new walkways. Committee members also plan for the future; determining how a community should grow two, five and ten years down the road.
In Hanover, LUD committees have three members in addition to their local councillor. These members are voted in by residents on the day of the municipal election. The province's approval for LUDs in New Bothwell and Kleefeld comes just in time for the election October 26th, at which time the inaugural committees will take shape.
"We're really excited to start a three member committee come October," shares Doerksen. "We are excited for this, very much."
Doerksen invites anyone interested in being a member of one of these two new LUD committees to go through the process of officially becoming a candidate. He notes successful candidates can expect to attend one meeting per month.
"It's not a whole lot of time," he says. "But it's community minded people trying to make your community better."
Doerksen explains, when an urban area does not have an LUD committee, it is the local councillor that takes on that role. He notes effectively, the local councillor is the LUD. In the case of New Bothwell, that means Doerksen alone is the one making the decisions on which streets to pave or where to add a pathway. However, with the creation of an LUD committee for New Bothwell, Doerksen says it will be three members of the community in addition to the Ward One councillor that will now make those decisions.
"The more heads the better," he states. "And that really counts as far as boots on the ground to what people like to see in your community."