by Tristan Turner
In a 6-1 vote, Council has passed a motion to hold a second meeting with the Midstream Society to discuss their needs for a new structure and potential partnerships that could be built with other community groups in the project to replace their ageing facility.
On Mar. 23, Council unanimously approved setting up a meeting between Administration, the Midstream Society, the Morinville Food Bank Society and Councillors Stephen Dafoe and Barry Turner to discuss the two organizations further needs.
As a result of that meeting, Council received a letter informing them that the Midstream Support Society and the Morinville Lions Club would be cooperating in a bid to construct a new building for both organizations use.
In the letter penned by Midstream Support Society President Linda Krauskopf and Lions Club President Francis Fryters, the groups indicated Midstream was looking for a 35-year lease on the existing property with the intent of finding funding for a new building. According to Town Administration, the building is no longer suitable for continued use.
The new centre would replace the currently ageing property that the Town lends to the society free of charge along 101 Street, and would also provide a new place for Lions Club events and meetings.
Town CAO Andrew Isbister presented Council with four options to consider:
1. Do nothing and continue with month-to-month lease until the building must be demolished.
2. Request Midstream vacate and demolish the building immediately.
3. Enter a 35-year lease agreement with Midstream where they will pay for the building of the new centre and pay a $10 annual lease for the land.
4. Enter a 35-year lease with Midstream by building a new structure on the Town’s dime, and have Midstream pay rent at a fair market value.
Councillor Barry Turner was the most vocal on the issue, saying he didn’t think any of the options presented by Administration were the best options. Instead, Turner felt it would be better to consider another option that allows for more space for other community / social services support groups. He agreed that the Midstream society needed a new building, but felt that there was an opportunity for more community groups to get involved in what could be a bigger building offering more services than just those offered by Midstream.
Turner felt that Option 3 would work the best, and wants a new structure built for the society, but also wanted to make sure that there be consideration to providing more space to other community organizations as well before the project goes forward.
After much debate and discussion, Councillor Boutestein moved her motion because she felt Council should ensure it is picking the option the society wants, and to discuss Turner’s thoughts about a larger centre offering more space to other tenants as well.
Boutestein’s motion to meet with the society within the next two weeks passed 6-1, with Councillor Stephen Dafoe opposed. While Dafoe did vote against the motion, he made clear in discussions after the meeting that he did support the Midstream’s needs and request; he just felt that action on the request should have been passed that night.