Town councillor Morgan Nagel believes asking Cochranites if they want to become a city would be like kicking a hornet's nest over and over again.

While they didn't all use those exact words, although some did chuckle, the rest of council agreed to set it aside and remain a town.

Brett Hawken, manager of Legislative Services, says there's no tangible advantage in the town seeking city status. Most importantly, no additional grant money would be available to the town.

Administration approached Beaumont and Brooks, the two latest municipalities to change to city status, to understand why they made the change.

"A very common theme was them talking about, we think if we moved from a town to a city, we would bring in more economic development and more investment because people want to invest in cities and not towns," Hawkin explained the council. "Again, that is not a fact. That is a subjective perception from their council at that time."

A community was previously required to have a minimum of 10,000 people to pursue city status. In 2022, that require was eliminated.

Pursuing a change in status requires an extensive public consultation that Hawkins said would likely take a year complete. The change would only be approved by Municipal Affairs if it believed the majority of residents agree.

"I feel like if we were to do extensive public engagement, going around asking the community if they want to become a city, would be like kicking a hornet's nest over and over and over again," said Nagel.

"I think the common thread between a lot of what we hear from the community about protecting our small- town feel comes up literally every time we ask people anything not growing too quickly, not having big apartments up in communities. Becoming a city, even when it's just a symbolic discussion. I think would evoke angry feelings about all that stuff from everybody that they would say we're trying to push it in the direction that they don't want us to take things, so I think it would be a mistake to move further with this."

Agreeing to let it die, Councillor Alex Reed has a son and daughter-in-law residing in Beaumont. His daughter-in-law is in business there and told him there had been no economic benefit so far.

"Her take was that the community now regrets the fact that they moved to city status and wishes it had remained a town."

He argued, as did others, that changing to city status wouldn't necessarily boost the economy and believed it might actually be detrimental.

While deciding against pursuing the question, council believed it was a healthy discussion to have, given the town's massive growth and ongoing discussion within the community.

READ: Council launches fact-finding mission on city status

In the meantime, the town will continue to simply brand itself as "Cochrane," not indicating whether we're a town or city.

Councillor Susan Flowers wanted to know if there was any advantage and instigated the fact-finding mission.