Our annual Year-in-Review series continues today with a look back at September and October 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.
Town dealing with purple loosestrife at Sunshine Lake
A Morinville watershed received an assist from Sturgeon County weed inspectors in late August after purple loosestrife was found growing along the shoreline. Town and County spent time in early September eradicating the mature plants and the Town will continue to address the weed in the new year.
Rotary Club holds open house
The local service club of roughly 50 members spearheaded an initiative to get a recreation facility built, holding their first information gathering session at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Sept. 18.
“It’s been a long history of difficulty with two separate [municipal] governments coming together to build a project, so it was in our thought process that we would be a facilitator and try to get both groups together to help build a facility,” said Rotarian Joel Chevalier last September.
Chevalier went on to say the club was motivated to pursue recreation because they wanted a major project to work on, a regional one that would represent the fact half their membership live in Morinville, the other half in Sturgeon County.
“Our group has really grown in the last two years and we wanted a major project that we could all get behind,” he said, adding the club had already seen the success the Westlock club had with getting a facility built there and that there were only two swimming pools in all of Sturgeon County. “When you look at other communities and other areas, every small community has some type of facility.”
Chevalier and his fellow Rotarians were certain at the time that information from their open house would include a strong desire for a swimming pool. “Everything we’ve read [indicates] everyone would like a pool,” he said. “We have to understand pools are like schools; it doesn’t make money, but it is a need.”
Local grocer heading in fresh new direction
Sobeys franchise owner Stuart Trenchard was excited about a new fresh direction he and fellow Sobeys stores were unveiling for their customers in September. The company teamed with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to bring a healthier choice to the grocery chain.
The initiative took a similar approach to Oliver’s work with schools and brought it to the grocery aisle. Trenchard said the initiative includes some commitments to shoppers: 100 per cent guarantee on food that is a sustainable product that is better for consumers.
MCHS hiking trip remembers dedicated local volunteer
The Fred Scharmann Memorial Hiking Trip departed from Morinville Community High School (MCHS) Sept. 18, an inaugural outing to the mountains in memory of a Morinville businessman remembered as an avid outdoorsman and community volunteer. About 20 MCHS students took part in the three-day trip.
Greg Boutestein, an MCHS teacher and friend of the late Fred Scharmann said the trip had been at the school for many years but had not been as consistent as the annual school bike trip through Jasper National Park, which Scharmann was a dedicated volunteer participant in for about 16 years. The hiking trip was revitalized in 2012 and will continue annually in Scharmann’s honour.
Petition seeks to put the brakes on photo radar
Sunshine Lake resident Cliff Haryett was looking for 900 signatures for his petition to abolish photo radar in Morinville and said he intended to have all the signatures within 45 to 60 days.
“It’s all over safety,” he said. “They are trying to sell us photo radar and [I take issue with] their lack of transparency and their collecting money versus public safety,” he said. “Few to no cross walk lights were put up, even though mega dollars have been collected [through photo radar] over the past few years.”
Haryett cited a lack of response to his concerns as motivation get 900 signatures.
The petition calls on Council to enact a bylaw to bootphoto radar out of the community and turn speed enforcement over to the RCMP and Morinville’s Community Peace Officers, a boots-on-the-ground approach he believes will be more effective in curbing speeders and keeping the community safe.
Haryett said he framed the petition such that the proposed bylaw would prohibit the Town from simply eliminating the contractor and taking on the manning of the cameras and radar guns themselves. “I want the boots on the ground, moving around town where they should be, and monitoring the whole town instead of specific areas.”
New Transmission Shop opens in familiar spot
A lifetime of working around transmissions, motors and other parts of vehicles culminated in the start of Morinville’s newest garage. Darcy’s Custom Transmissions and Auto Repair opened in early September in the old Morin’s Auto location on 100 Street, north of the Fire Hall.
Owner Darcy Barilla grew up in Morinville and grew up in the transmission business. His family owned a small franchise in St. Albert. Barilla started his shop as a home-based business three years ago, but the Red Seal certified mechanic decided to open a storefront location and moved into his present 100 Street shop Sept. 3.
Town sees big Council race
When the dust settled on nomination day, Morinville voters were faced with four choices for mayor and 16 for Council. Lisa Holmes, Christa Naughton, Carrie Foss, and Sheldon Fingler all put their names forward to run for mayor.
On the Council side of the ballot, Morinville were asked to pick six councillors from 16 options. Running for a seat were Barry Turner, Brandy Keenleyside, Brennan FitzGerald, Brent Henry, David Pattison, Gord Putnam, Jackie Luker, James O’Brien, Jennifer Laurence, Laurence Giffin, Nicole Boutestein, Rob Ladouceur, Ruth Shymka, Stephen Dafoe, Wayne Gatza, and Joseph Trapani.