About 200 residents from Albany and other surrounding municipalities in P.E.I.'s Borden-Carleton fire district sounded off in opposition to proposed annexation by the town at a public meeting Sunday night.

The Town of Borden-Carleton, along with municipalities across the province, is beginning the process of amalgamation as a result of the Municipal Government Act that was passed last year. 

The province wants to create larger townships across the Island instead of smaller municipalities.

In a letter and information sent to residents in August, the Town of Borden-Carleton listed several benefits of the process, including more municipal services for annexed communities, and more control over residential development in the area.

If approved,  the town's population would grow by more than half its current size.

'Higher taxes and more headaches'

But at Sunday's meeting, many residents expressed their opposition to the move, in particular in regards to paying higher taxes.

Borden-Carleton fire district annexation meeting - 22/10/17

Organizers estimate about 200 people attended the public meeting and roughly 500 residents from the surrounding area have signed a petition against the proposal. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

"Already farmers in this region are governed. We're paying taxes already," said Colleen MacQuarrie, who runs a farm in the Albany area.

"What exactly would be the benefit for us to become annexed to Borden-Carleton?"

MacQuarrie said she doubted Borden-Carleton's promised public services would extend to her area.

"As it looks to me, all we're going to have are higher taxes and more headaches," she said.

Criticism of Borden-Carleton

"I would be much more receptive to any sort of annexation proposal if there was more of a proven track record in Borden-Carleton" said Cape Traverse resident Andrew MacKay, who criticized the state of the town's Gateway Village.

"At this point in time, I haven't seen that from the community, so I find it very hard to get on board," he said.

Albany resident Mike Green said he's purposely avoided moving to Borden-Carleton, and would prefer to keep living outside of the town's borders.

"We like it how it is. We look after each other," said Mike Green.

"Don't kid yourself. I'm furious"

'We want to move forward'

Borden-Carleton Mayor Dean Sexton, was among several government representatives present to address concerns. 

"Some of the questions I was not anticipating," said Sexton, who was unable to provide figures when asked to share the town's budget and deficits. 

Borden-Carleton mayor Dean Sexton - 22/10/17

Borden-Carleton Mayor Dean Sexton says he hopes residents consider potential public services that would be available to them if they were to be annexed with Borden-Carleton. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Sexton said he hopes to bring residents on board with annexation for the benefit Borden-Carleton and its surrounding areas.

"We want to move forward and work together co-operatively and come up with some kind of a solution that we can move the whole area forward," he said.

Meeting organizers said they already have about 500 signatures for a petition opposing annexation with Borden-Carleton.