by Tristan Turner

Council’s Nov. 10 meeting was a hefty agenda of items. Here are some of what was discussed and decided in brief.

Council receives Visitor Information Centre presentation

Morinville Chamber of Commerce President Simon Boersema was on hand at Council’s regular meeting to give an update on this year’s progress with the Morinville Visitor Information Centre (VIC). The centre is in Perras Place, the small house directly east of Town Hall. The building serves as a guide for tourists and for new residents looking to learn more about the town. Boersma identified how this is a service to both new residents, tourists and local businesses who benefit from new buyers coming into their businesses.

For the past several years, the VIC has requested $17,000 dollars for their operations, with other funding coming from the Chamber itself. This year is no different, despite the fact the centre saw a massive increase according to their recorded stats. According to Boersma the centre assisted 844 people, just under half of those in person. That number is up considerably from the 130 people assisted in 2014.

Council passes many land use bylaw amendments

Council has passed Second and Third Reading of Land Use Bylaws 17/2015, 18/2015, 19/2015 and 20/2015. Bylaws 17/2015 and 18/2015 have been classified by the Town’s head of Planning and Development, Greg Hofmann, as “housekeeping amendments” to the Land Use Bylaw. Bylaw 17/2015 makes some changes to the Land Use Bylaw that modernize the law and keep it a “living document”, according to Hofmann.

One of the largest components in the text of the Bylaw 18/2015 would be changes to the subdivision process to make it more of an administrative concern. It would give new powers for Town administration to approve subdivision processes that are in line with the Land Use Bylaw.

Bylaw 19/2015 changes some of the language associated with the laws surrounding the Municipal Planning Commission and transfers some of their roles on to Administration in subdivision questions. The move is seen as a way to find efficiencies in the process as the community grows towards city-status.

Bylaw 20/2015 would make changes to allow some homeowners in the Village Champlain area to add a second suite to their property with separate access. The Bylaw passed second and third reading unanimously after a brief presentation from the applicants.

All Bylaws passed Second and Third Reading unanimously.

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Ladouceur made Deputy Mayor

Rob Ladouceur was sworn in as Morinville’s Deputy Mayor Nov. 10 following a brief oath. He becomes the fourth member of this Council to serve in this position, following Councillor Putnam, Councillor Dafoe and outgoing Deputy Mayor Turner. All members of Council serve in this position in eight-month rotations. The role allows the Deputy Mayor to chair meetings in the Mayor’s absence and to attend events or assume roles where the Mayor may be unavailable.

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