Security cameras coming to Morinville arena

By Staff

Morinville – Recent vandalism has prompted Morinville Town Council to reallocate money from its tennis court redesign project to the hockey arena so that an $11,000 security camera system can be installed.

Morinville’s Director of Public Works, Claude Valcourt, said there have been several incidents of vandalism to the arena this summer totalling $15,000, not including structural damage caused by someone driving a vehicle into the back of the arena, damaging concrete blocks and ruining a set of steel doors. Additionally, Valcourt said vandals had hit the neighbouring spray park, tampering with the nozzles so that the park’s mechanisms operated improperly.

“If we had some cameras we probably would have caught the individuals and go from there,” Valcourt told councillors. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.”

Security cameras had been included in an early draft of Morinville’s 2010 budget, but the allocation was removed to trim the budget to meet targets.

Faced with the need to install the cameras now, council was faced with two options – either overspending the 2010 budget for arena repairs or re-allocating the costs of the security system from the Town’s tennis court project. Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the latter.

The new system is to be provided by the same company that services Morinville’s security and alarm systems. Valcourt said the system, which will cover the arena, outdoor rink, splash park and arena’s parking lot, operates with motion detectors and a digital video recorder, allowing continual recording.

“It’s the best there is right now for what our needs are,” Valcourt said, adding the equipment includes face recognition software for inside the arena.

The decision to re-allocate funding from the tennis courts to the arena will not alter Morinville’s plan to have the courts operational in 2011.

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