Year-in-Review: January

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Our annual Year-in-Review series begins today with a look back at January and February 2013. We will be publishing two months of review each day during the remainder of our holiday closure here at the Morinville News. The entire Year-in-Review will be published in our Jan. 8 print edition.

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Teen Centre reopens with solid support

The sound of popcorn popping and pool balls cracking mixed with the laughter of Morinville youth Jan. 5 during the grand reopening of the Morinville Teen Centre. The facility, located across from the Ray McDonald Sport Centre at the corner of 104 Street and 99 Avenue, had just undergone approximately $7,000 worth of renovations and equipment upgrades, measures former Morinville Youth Worker Nick Valcourt said were needed to make the facility a place where youth would feel comfortable hanging out.

Much of the labour was donated. Town of Morinville employees kicked in time on the inside renovations and the Morinville Lions Club financed and renovated the exterior of the facility and its deck.

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More work to be done on aging arena

After authorizing up to $300,000 to repair leaks to the Ray McDonald Sports Centre’s roof, Council unanimously approved taking a look at additional damage below the roof deck. At the time, that work was set to involve a $21,000 investment: $11,000 for a structural review of the roof’s columns, including repair or reinforcement, and an additional $10,000 to hire a specialist to perform a mould assessment in compliance with Occupational Health and Safety regulations.

The AECOM report recommendations encouraged the Town of Morinville to weigh the costs of maintaining the arena against replacing it with a new facility. A project to look into the costs and details of a replacement arena were merged with a study to look into a multi-use recreational facility during Budget 2013 deliberations in December of 2012.

A year later and a newly-elected Council was faced with the prospect of closing, repairing or replacing the aging facility. Council voted Dec. 10 in favour of gathering the info necessary to make the potential of replacing the arena part of the 2014 budget.

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Recreational open house looks at region’s future needs

About 60 residents attended a Regional Recreation Master Plan open house at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Jan. 17. The joint efforts of six municipalities were thrown up on easels for residents to take a look at and give their thoughts on. The Sturgeon Regional Partnership of Bon Accord, Gibbons, Legal, Morinville, Sturgeon County, and Redwater laid out their second stage of efforts on a Regional Recreation Master Plan at open houses held at several County locations that week. Morinville was the final stop.

The goal of the project, which began in August of 2012, was to build a strategic plan for the region to help guide long-term decisions on recreational services delivery over the next quarter century. The plan looked at existing facilities and programming throughout the region, identifying gaps and duplications in both services provided and funding for those services.

In the summer and fall of 2013, the Rotary Club of Morinville embarked on its own plans for a multi-use recreational facility for the region with two open houses, one held in August and another in November.

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Morinville Peace Officer to become a police officer

Community Peace Officer Sergeant James Alaeddine announced he would leave his post Feb. 8 to begin a career with the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).

Alaeddine had been in Morinville for almost three years and said he had enjoyed the experience. “If I were to look back I wouldn’t do anything different,” he said. “I’m so glad I came to Morinville because it not only made me grow as an officer but grow as a person. I found out a lot about myself that I didn’t know, and it’s been great that way.”

The 27-year-old Community Peace Officer expressed his gratitude to the community, the Town of Morinville and the Morinville RCMP Detachment; all of whom he feels helped shape the officer he has become. The CPO Sergeant said he was pleased to have been able to take the Community Peace Officer program and work a vision for it within the community by working directly with the community.

Merchants get ready to say goodbye to the penny

Local businesses were getting ready to get rid of the penny at the end of January. In 2012 the Government announced it would phase out the penny in 2013 due to the rising costs of minting the coin and the fact large quantities of the coin were sitting inside jars in Canadian households instead of flowing through the country’s cash registers. Estimating an annual savings of $11 million per year, the Government set a transition date of Feb. 4 to begin ridding the country of the penny. That date was shifted from an earlier date to accommodate merchants who felt phasing out the coin over the busy Christmas season would be problematic. Almost a year later and everyone seems to have gotten used to the rounding up or down that is now used on cash transactions.

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