The Municipal District of Foothills wants to be known as Foothills County and they've applied to the province for the change.

Reeve Larry Spilak says the pros and cons of the idea have been discussed by past and present councils for some time now.

Spilak points out that "county" is a more recognizable concept, especially where national and international investors are concerned.

"I'm supportive of the idea of county, simply because, when you go out nationally and internationally and you try and encourage people to come to your region, they need to understand what it is," Spilak says. "Is it a town, is it a city or is it a county? And they certainly don't understand what an MD is."

He explains that of the 64 rural districts in Alberta, there are 47 now known as counties, and that number's growing. He points out that Rockyview, which he says became known as a county about 10 years ago, has created a significant amount of development and he feels that can be partially attributed to the recognition of that area, by potential businesses, as a county.

"You want to be recognized for what you are," he says. "And by doing that, you can attract businesses, the commercial industries and the manufacturing industries and things of this nature. And the primary reason for that, of course, is to create a larger tax base and that will offset the residental tax."

Spilak says costs to the change will be minimal. He adds that gateway signage with the municipality is aging and plans are already in place to replace it, likely sometime next year, so they feel the timing is right for the change.

"Some people think that immediately you have to go out and change signs and letterhead and it's not true," he says. "What we're going to do is we're just simply going to, as business cards, as stationery, as all of the things with our logo on it wear out and need to be replaced, that's when we will replace them with the new logo. But until then, we will not spend a dime on anything new, it has to be a replacement."

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