The Village of Morrin council heard an update that a portion of their Main Street that was stripped for the school construction project will be re-paved soon. The report was made at the July 12 regular meeting of council, held one week earlier than normal due to summer vacation.

During the council committee reports section of the agenda Mayor Chris Hall reported on a zoom meeting the village held with Shunda Construction, the general contractor that is building the new Morrin School on behalf of Prairie Land School Division. 

During the meeting Shunda stated the company was scheduled to pave that portion of Main Street that was ripped up for infrastructure installation.

It was noted Shunda will pave Main Street from where it meets from Range Road 20-3 up to the middle of the 2nd Ave. intersection. 

Mayor Hall reported paving, including the new school parking lot, should occur in later September. During discussion councillors pondered if a new sidewalk will be built by the school, noting there was not a sidewalk there previously.

Online acquisition

Councillors unanimously passed a resolution to purchase their municipal website from its developer for $1,000, plus pay $20 a month for the developer to continue to host it.

Coun. Lorraine MacArthur contacted the developer to discuss the Village of Morrin purchasing the website so it would be updated regularly. 

The developer responded with two offers: $1,500 for the website with the village finding a new host or $1,000 for the website plus $20 a month to host it as-is.

Village Chief Administrative officer Annette Plachner noted the village didn’t pay for the website’s development but rather paid a monthly fee for the service.

Pecuniary interest

Coun. MacArthur noted she wanted to speak to council about her new job teaching quilt-making to inmates at the Drumheller Penitentiary, a federal institution. 

MacArthur had heard that municipal councillors are forbidden through pecuniary interest, or conflict of interest, laws to also be employed by the federal government.

No one at the council meeting had an answer for MacArthur; Plachner stated she would investigate the matter and report back as soon as possible.

Returning the money

Coun. M’Liss Edwards reported on a Drumheller Seniors Foundation committee meeting she recently attended, noting the foundation is apparently returning $9 million in grant funding to the provincial government because member municipalities balked at budgeting more money for further development. The grant funding was apparently conditional on matching funds.

Edwards noted one new wing has recently been completed and the foundation hopes to have an open house soon.

Unsightly premises

Councillors asked if the CAO had contacted property owners about unsightly premises in the Village of Morrin. At the June council meeting councillors read a letter from a member of the public which voiced concern about the appearance of some properties, especially with the municipality’s homecoming in August.

Plachner stated the properties were being handled under the village’s unsightly premises bylaw; after handing out some warning letters Plachner stated some properties have already been improved.

During discussion councillors also wondered if Starland County had hired a new community peace officer (CPO) and if so the village would be interested in partnering on that service.

Public Works report

Public Works Foreman Dave Benci gave his regular report, which mostly concerned operation of the new street sweeper in Morrin. Benci noted there’s been some talk in the village about street sweeping but noted he’s heard it mostly second-hand.

Benci stated the street sweeper can’t pick up everything on the street in one pass, and several might be needed to pick up everything so members of the public must be patient. 

He’s noted it’s been about four years since the village had a street sweeper and in 10 hours of operation the street sweeper had already picked up about five tons of debris.

Councillors agreed they feel Benci is doing a fine job. They also accepted his report as information.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 20, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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