The Valais municipalities of Massongex, Vérossaz and Saint-Maurice are considering a merger – rts.ch

The Valais municipalities of Massongex, Vérossaz and Saint-Maurice are considering a merger – rts.ch
The Valais municipalities of Massongex, Vérossaz and Saint-Maurice are considering a merger – rts.ch

A merger of municipalities is currently being considered in Bas-Valais. Vérossaz, Massongex and Saint-Maurice presented to the population on Tuesday evening a study on the advantages and disadvantages of such a union. A consultative vote, which will decide whether or not to continue the discussions, is scheduled for June 9.

“We are three small municipalities with the same challenges to overcome and difficulties to resolve,” Sylviane Coquoz, president of Massongex, explains to Keystone-ATS. The possibility of a merger initially emerged in 2019 between Massongex and Vérossaz. Saint-Maurice joined the project in 2022.

The feasibility study was carried out by a specialized office in 2023. A steering committee composed of the three presidents and secretaries participated in the work. All municipal councilors also supported the process. For the steering committee, this three-way marriage “would be beneficial for each of the communities involved”, note the municipalities in a press release.

The population will decide

If the residents give the green light to continue the project, and only in this case, insists Sylviane Coquoz, “we will launch the sequel”, namely work and citizen discussions before a final vote on a three-way marriage. horizon 2029-2030. “The consultative vote is planned at the same time as the federal vote on June 9 in order to convince as many people as possible to go to the polls.”

The three executives hope to “take the population with them, convince them and avoid dramatic situations”. The latest merger attempts in the region are cause for concern: Collonges (VS) refused to marry with St-Maurice in 2019 and Collombey-Muraz said “no” to Monthey in 2022.

>> Read also: In Valais Chablais, Collonges refuses to marry Saint-Maurice

If the project is successful, the new entity, whose name remains open for the time being, will have nearly 7,400 inhabitants and will be in 14th place (out of 122) in terms of population at the canton level. Above all, it would be in third place in Chablais just after Monthey and Collombey-Muraz. “This would allow us to have more influence and thus improve the regional balance,” underlines Sylviane Coquoz.

>> Read also: In Valais, the municipalities of Monthey and Collombey-Muraz do not marry

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