Abbotsford city council voted to mend fences with the Fraser Valley Regional District on Monday afternoon.
Council followed a city staff recommendation to abandon a proposal made last year to withdraw from the regional government as a move to save money.
The majority of the previous council had asked the province to allow Abbotsford to set up a single-tier regional structure, believing going solo would save the city $760,000 annually.
As the largest member of the FVRD, Abbotsford contributes close to half the total funding but is subject to a weighted system that provides it with 40 per cent of the voting power.
However, last spring Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, made it perfectly clear the city cannot opt out of the regional district system.
Abbotsford was then left with the option of forming a new regional district, perhaps involving the communities of Langley or Mission.
A mayors' forum during the summer that included Langley, Mission, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and the FVRD resulted in a decision that it was premature to consider forming a regional district in the central Fraser Valley.
A staff report notes that without the support of the province, a single-tier option was not available to Abbotsford.
Due to cost restructuring by the FVRD, Abbotsford also got a 28 per cent tax cut from the regional district in 2011, expected to produce a tax savings of $715,736.
Abbotsford has also just gained a sixth member of council for the FRVD board of directors, achieving a marginal increase its voting power, largely due a rise in population noted in the 2011 census.
Rather than abandoning the regional district, Abbotsford is now exploring the idea of regional transit and solid waste programs within the FVRD to see if there are any benefits or economies of scale to be had in those areas, stated a staff report.