Sturgeon County Fleet Maintenance services Manager Ken Hodge explains some of the features of the ATV to Morinville Community Peace Officer James Alaeddine before the vehicle was loaded on a truck. The quad is being loaned to Morinville by Sturgeon County for a 60-day pilot project. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – A new pilot enforcement project in Morinville has been made possible through the assistance of Sturgeon County. The County is lending Morinville one of its enforcement-equipped ATVs to allow Morinville peace officers to traverse the same terrain as those illegally driving off road vehicles within Town of Morinville limits.
Morinville Community Peace Officer James Alaeddine explained the purpose of the 60-day pilot project is mainly to raise awareness of the bylaw but also to curb damage being done in the community. “We know there’s plenty of users out there because we’ve had so much destruction of Town property that the Town has to go back in and grade it and level it off and what not,” he said. “There’s so many ruts in the areas behind where the tracks are, in Sunshine, on [Range Road]252 up by Cardiff area.”
Alaeddine said it could be that many ATV riders are not yet aware of the existence of the bylaw. “A lot of people come from Edmonton and move into the rural area and think [because] this is rural area, I just want to hop on my quad and go for a cruise,” he explained, adding he has stopped people in the past who said they had no idea about the bylaw. “That’s exactly what we want to do – heighten awareness.
Sturgeon County Public Services Manager Troy Grant said the decision to lend Morinville the ATV came after a request from Morinville’s Chief Administrative Officer, Debbie Oyarzun, to rent or lease an ATV for the project rather than have the Town invest in the equipment before seeing the effectiveness. Grant said the County was only too happy to assist. “That’s what makes us strong as a region,” he said. “That collaborative nature needs to be engrained even harder. It was a no-brainer from my perspective to say, ‘Absolutely, we’ll loan you one.”
Operating costs and liability during the 60-day loan will be covered by the Town of Morinville, and the vehicle will carry County markings to further display the cooperation between the two municipalities.
Grant said the loan is fundamentally an act of cooperation, one whereby the communities can grow stronger through this and other cooperative projects.
Under Morinville’s Off Highway Vehicle Bylaw, introduced in 2010, ATVs, including quads, snowmobiles, and amphibious vehicles are not permitted to drive on Morinville streets, parks or other lands within Town of Morinville limits. The bylaw can be viewed in its entirety at www.morinville.ca/downloads/off-highway-vehicle-bylaw-16-10.pdf.