by Tristan Turner

Council brought forward a number of information requests to be filled by Administration at their Oct. 13 meeting.

Helping the Scouts

First with a request was Councilor Stephen Dafoe on behalf of 1st Morinville Scouts to see if Public Works would be able to assist them moving some small outbuildings from their current location to the landfill. The group had been requested to relocate and had previously moved two of their larger storage units already.

Dafoe’s request to have Administration get back to the Scouting Group with an answer by the end of the week passed unanimously.

Train Whistles

Dafoe followed up this request with another on the topic of train whistles. Dafoe requested that Administration come back to Council in January with information regarding the costs associated with, and viability of, requesting that CN Rail cease train whistle activity in the Morinville area. Potential costs cited by Dafoe included increases to municipal liability insurance, level crossing upgrades and public education on the change.

Dafoe made it clear that he has no stance on the issue as of now, but said that it is something that community should have data on should they wish to enter into a debate about the matter.

“The public is mixed on the level of annoyance that train whistles cause, but I think there is sufficient public talk that it warrants coming forward with the hard costs and what the hard realities are with respect to municipal liability should we go that route, as I understand some other municipalities in the country have looked at,” Dafoe said.

Dafoe’s second request passed with only Councillor Rob Ladouceur opposing.

Photo enforcement on Cardiff Road

Dafoe’s third request was following up with a public question regarding the legality of photo enforcement operators sitting on land in Sturgeon County recording potential traffic violations on Cardiff Road in Morinville.

Director of Corporate Operations David Schaefer said it was legal, and that the photo enforcement operators – who are Peace Officers – have the authority to operate anywhere in the province provided it is related to their duties.

Dafoe requested Schaefer’s response be sent to him by email.

Faster Internet?

Councillor Rob Ladouceur came forward with an information request regarding pursuing fibre optic internet in Morinville. Ladouceur requested that the Town pursue the potential of either developing a municipally owned Internet Service Provider (ISP) that will provide infrastructure and service to residents, or the costs of working with a private ISP to offer fiber optic service to Morinville residents and businesses.

Fiber optic cable is a relatively recent development in communications technology that allows internet speeds significantly faster than the traditional copper connections that currently service Morinville. The new technology potentially allows for internet speeds of at least 10 times the speed of the maximum allowable under the current copper connections and are being increasingly adopted.

Following a vote, the request passed with only Councillor Nicole Boutestein opposing. Information on the costs associated with these options will be returned to Council by the end of the first quarter of 2016 according to Greg Hofmann, Director of Planning and Development with the town.

Cardiff Road Safety

Councillor Brennan Fitzgerald brought forward a request regarding Cardiff Road and potential new “safety solutions” for the area. The request was eventually referred to the Traffic Advisory Committee for evaluation following a response from David Schaefer that said that there are no plans at this point.

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