Registries office coming to Town of Blackfalds

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At long last, the Town of Blackfalds will be getting its own Alberta Registries Office.

During their regular council meeting last Tuesday, Blackfalds council decided the town would apply for a registries office, which would be operated by the municipality itself at the Blackfalds Civic Culture Centre. Its opening is scheduled for the Spring of 2019.

It’s a service Blackfalds has fought to be able to provide residents over the past several years, and the decision that’s expected to speed up the process is one council is pleased with.

“Blackfalds has been lobbying to have a registries office in our community for many years. This initiative is proactive because it will allow a registry service to be available in our community a lot sooner than traditional methods would,” said Mayor Richard Poole.

“It is exciting because this approach, endorsed by council, will see our staff provide another important service to our community using an innovative and cost-effective model.”

Blackfalds eclipsed the 10,000 population mark in 2018, and as has been the case over the past few years, the town’s substantial growth has resulted in an increase in both desire and need for more services in the community. A registries office was one of the top priorities identified by the town.

Originally, it was deemed a costly initiative, but in lobbying the provincial government and meeting with the Executive of Motor Vehicles and Registries Administration in 2017, the town discovered an option to run Alberta Registries services themselves for the next three to four years, before eventually transitioning it out to the public sector.

This year, administration looked into requirements of how a registry office would function as a town-run operation and created an initial business plan. According to council notes, it would both increase brand exposure for Blackfalds and provide additional employment opportunities, including approximately two positions in the first year.

While the registries office is expected to require annual funding to operate for the first few years, and could potentially run an operating deficit of up to $162,000 at the end of its second year, projections show it would become profitable by 2021 with the deficit paid off in 2022. At such time, the town would explore how the service would continue to run.

Next steps for the town include ensuring approval for funding is in place, creating a working group to implement and set up the registry office, and complete the Request for Approval of the Minister to procure a Registry Agent Outlet by the Town of Blackfalds Registry Corporation as well as apply for creation of a municipal corporation to operate the registry office.

Determining equipment requirements, ordering equipment and stock, as well as hiring staff and developing a marketing campaign for the registry’s opening will also follow.

Updates will be provided to council throughout the process.