Oil Springs wants to talk amalgamation

File Photo Oil Springs Mayor Ian Veen

Oil Springs Mayor Ian Veen says it is time to take another look at joining forces with Enniskillen Township.
He’s asking village council to write to the municipality to begin formal amalgamation talks.
From 1989 and the early 2000’s, municipal councils in Lambton started merging at the urging of the provincial government. There was talk that Oil Springs, Enniskillen and Petrolia might be one municipality. But that didn’t happen.
Veen says successive councils have talked about any benefits, but recently the subject came up again after the departure of the clerk.
“It is getting harder and harder to find the staff we want for the money that they’re getting elsewhere,” says Veen. “We can’t pay them what they are really worth.”
Veen says merging with Enniskillen would solve the recruiting problem. He adds Oil Springs population base has remained steady and it may help Enniskillen as it starts looking for government grants.
But he also recognizes the township may not see this as a win-win situation. “They probably figure we have too much debt load to be worth their while and we have too much infrastructure that needs to be upgraded.”
“Enniskillen may not be willing to do it, but at least we have to ask,” says Veen.