There are alternatives to the Recommendation. As always, there are risks in all courses of action and risks in taking no action.
- Take no action, continue with the status quo. This is not a sustainable alternative as the population is expected to continue its decline and the gap between the commercial tax burden in the Town versus the commercial tax burden in the surrounding municipality has the potential to erode commercial assessment and tax revenue.
- Begin negotiations to voluntarily amalgamate with MDS and/or other neighbouring municipalities. There are a number of amalgamation options that have been discussed, including a straight amalgamation of the Town of Shelburne with the whole of the MDS and an alternative of splitting the MDS in half, with the Town of Lockeport and the eastern part MDS becoming one municipal unit, and the Town of Shelburne with the western part of MDS becoming another municipal unit.
- Apply to Utility Review Board (URB) to amalgamate with neighbouring municipality(s). Rather than pursue a voluntary amalgamation and submit a joint application to the URB, the Town of Shelburne could unilaterally apply to amalgamate with the MDS and/or other neighbouring municipalities. The Consultants do not recommend this alternative because it is unlikely that the Province of Nova Scotia would support a unilateral push to amalgamate with the MDS if the municipality were not part of the application. This course of action could result in considerable cost to the Town to support the application and related analysis and result in no change.