Morinville Council Briefs – April 8, 2014

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Morinville Council presented David LeBel with a certificate of recognition for volunteering during the unprecedented floods in southern Alberta last June. See our story on LeBel here.

by Calli Stromner

Land Use Bylaw Amendments

After convening a speedy Public Hearing which saw no one come forward with comments, Council unanimously approved second and third reading of Bylaws 2/2014 and 8/2014; the former dealing with several text amendments and clarifications to the Land Use Bylaw adopted in 2012 and the latter pertaining to enhancing the aesthetics of shipping containers stored in non-residential areas (excluding industrial areas).
“The Land Use Bylaw is fundamental to how planning occurs in Alberta,” said Planning & Development Director Greg Hofmann during the Public Hearing. “We have an ongoing responsibility to make sure that to critical planning document is always up to date and always reflects the usage of it on a daily basis.”

Both bylaws come into effect immediately and can be viewed on the Town website.

2014 Property Tax Rate Bylaw

Council unanimously passed second and third reading of the 2014 Property Tax Rate Bylaw, which sets the mil rate for all properties within the town. Every tax bill will see a percentage increase of 1.23% or a dollar increase of $32 for the average home valued at $280,000. 2014 property taxes will fund the $7.6 million budget that Council approved in March, but the Town will also collect $2.9 million for the Alberta School Foundation and $108,443 for the Sturgeon Foundation.

Property owners can expect to see tax bills in their mailboxes assessments in late April or early May. Taxes will be due by the end of June.
4th Quarter Report

Chief Administrative Officer Deb Oyarzun took Council though the 4th Quarter statistics which measure the operations for the various Town departments, including statistics for the Community Cultural Centre, the Fire Department, Community Peace Officers, and Planning and Development.

Highlights from the report include:

– Housing starts totalled 106 in 2013 (up from 91 in 2012) and included 46 single-family and 60 multi-family housing starts (68 and 23 respectively in 2012).

– 81 per cent of the stray dogs turned into the Morinville Vet Clinic were returned to their owners while 24 per cent of the stray cats found their way home.

– Morinville’s photo enforcement program issued 963 tickets from October to December for a total of 5,049 photo enforcement tickets in 2013 (compared to 3,146 in 2012).

– The Morinville Community Cultural Centre posted a gross revenue of $160,261 for the 4th quarter and had approximately 42,000 people come through the doors to various events and functions.

Council unanimously accepted the 4th Quarter Report as presented and Councillor Stephen Dafoe made a subsequent motion to have town staff provide more information about how to enhance crosswalk safety around school zones.

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