Morinville Council briefs

By Stephen Dafoe

Maskoske appointed to board

Council unanimously approved the appointment of Mr. Warren Maskoske to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) Feb. 26. His term on the board will expire October 2015.

Maskoske’s appointment follows the resignation of a member of the SDAB and brings the board back to its full roster of two Council members (Councillor Gordon Boddez and Mayor Paul Krauskopf) and three public members at large.

Public board members are paid $50 per diem per meeting in accordance with the Town’s policy for volunteer boards and committee members.

Town extends FOIPP agreement with Strathcona County

Council gave Mayor Krauskopf and Administration the green light to sign a two-year extension agreement with Strathcona County to obtain services from the latter’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) Coordinator.

The current agreement is set to expire Apr. 30; the extension will expire Apr. 30, 2015. The initial agreement between the two municipalities was signed in the fall of 1999 and has been renewed every two years since that time. Under the agreement Strathcona County provides FOIPP Coordinator services to Morinvlle on an as-needed basis at a rate of up to $45 per hour.

Council heard from Administration that Strathcona County staff has the experience and resources to support Morinville’s Records Coordinator in her role with respect to the province’s FOIPP legislation at a lower cost to the Town than doing the work in house.

Town to defer Community Futures support

Council will not support Community Futures Tawatinaw Region’s (CFTR) request to Western Economic Diversification Canada to include the City of St. Albert within its region. At least not yet

CFTR presently serves roughly 66,000 residents throughout Sturgeon County, Thorhild County, Westlock County, portions of Athabasca County, Municipal District (MD) Lesser Slave Lake River and MD Opportunity, as well as the municipalities within, by providing business financing through repayable loans, loan guarantees and equity positions to businesses in the region. They are one of 27 Community Futures regions in the province providing counselling, consulting, cash flow forecasting, financing, business planning and delivering business related training courses.

CFTR’s Westlock office receives frequent contact from entrepreneurs looking to open a business in St. Albert. Although they have been offering these businesses advice and planning assistance, they cannot lend the capital the businesses need.

Approval to include St. Albert in their region would change that.

Councillor David Pattison, who is Morinville’s representative on CFTR, said the program was originally one focused on job creation. “There will be no additional Community Futures groups in the province,” Pattison said, adding the group was unanimous in deciding to invite St. Albert into the fold.

However, some members of Council expressed some concerns with giving the support without weighing the effect on Morinville entrepreneurs.

Councillor Lisa Holmes questioned if the addition of St. Albert would diminish the monies available to the existing member municipalities. Holmes was concerned the addition of St. Albert could steer Morinville entrepreneurs to open in St. Albert rather than Morinville.

Pattison said St. Albert would be joining one of the Community Futures groups and saw Tawatinaw as the best option. Pattison said it was a concern raised at the board level but that he sees St. Albert’s addition as a good thing.

Holmes was not convinced. “I think this could be a good thing but at this point I’m not comfortable with a letter going out,” Holmes said.

Deputy Mayor Nicole Boutestein said she felt the matter is something Morinville’s as-yet-to-be-hired Economic Development Officer to be involved with.

Council has requested a presentation from the group at a future meeting and motioned to defer the matter until after that time.

Fire services vehicles now part of fleet replacement

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Debbie Oyarzun told Council the Town’s fire services vehicles have never been included in Morinville’s fleet replacement program, but have now been factored in according to Council’s wishes.

Oyarzun said the vehicles have been factored in for five-, eight-, 10- and 17-year lifespans. At that time, the vehicles will be brought forth for a decision on replacement.

Now included in the fleet replacement policy, one-tonne trucks and attachments will be factored for replacement every eight years; the Town’s rescue truck every 10 years; the Morinville Fire Department’s pumper / ladder truck every 17 years.

It is believed the placeholder timelines will allow the community to properly budget for its fire services vehicles replacement.

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