Ask-A-Candidate Question 16

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In 2009 a grassroots citizens group was formed and studied the idea of building a playground in “The Lakes” district.

This Group had a Town employee assigned by the Town for guidance. Studies were conducted, fund raising initiatives were underway, all that was required from The Town of Morinville was approval and land (somewhere to put the playground).

When Council was approached for land within “The Lakes” to build a playground, Mr. Mayor and Council denied the application on the grounds they would send it back to “The Lakes” Developer – Landrex to build the playground. One year passed and nothing was done. On speaking with Landrex on this issue (as nobody at Town Office knew anything) we were told Landrex paid the Town a Recreational Levy X$ per serviced lot.
Landrex has absolutely no intention of building a playground as they’ve paid the Town the required Levy. Why would a grassroots citizens group willing to do all the work to build another badly needed facility within the Town of Morinville be denied in such a way?
The Recreational Master Plan 2004 clearly states that to improve and implement new facilities for the projected population growth Grassroots Citizen Volunteers are absolutely necessary.
In prior question Mr. Mayor refers to the Recreational Master Plan 2004. Has Mr. Mayor or Council actually read this document and does he not understand his own Area Structure Plan for The Lakes? Obviously not, because I cannot believe they would out right lie to a group of citizens.

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  1. PLEASE NOTE – Only Candidates may post comments to this posting. welcomes reader comments on our articles, but we wish to keep these particular segments open for candidates alone so that readers do not have to separate who is and is not vying for their vote.

  2. Good morning A little background to establish some context. Landrex has indeed paid the Town the recreation contribution for the phases that have been developed in the Lakes to date. They have not paid the contribution for stage 11 which is the last phase of the Lakes to be developed. The contribution is payable when stage 11 is developed.

    When the past council was approached by the community group wanting a playground, we were also approached by a group that did not want one where it was proposed. It is always a stressful situation for a Council when you have two groups in the same neighborhood with differing views.

    So here is what we have done to address the concerns of both groups. Our development officer has spoke with Landrex about the need for a park with playground equipment in the Lakes. Landrex has redrawn stage 11 to include a park area complete with playground equipment. This equipment will be paid for using the proceeds of the recreation contribution required for Stage 11.

    Unfortunately, there has been an economic slowdown in our Province. Landrex had approximately 150 developed lots available for sale to house builders when the recession hit. Due to the inventory on hand, they have delayed the development of stage 11 until next year when it makes more economic sense to make further investments in the growth of our community. I’m sure we can all agree that makes sound business sense.

    Unfortunately, that has meant a delay in the construction of the playground in the Lakes district. Certainly not a lie nor deliberately misleading the two community groups that approached Town Council. We heard you, we listened and we have identified a solution that addresses the concerns of both groups. It is simply a matter of timing.


  3. Thank you for the questions and your concerns.

    As you might have notice myself and the present Mayor see things in a different view. However; on this issue I agree with the points that the Mayor stated.

    What I would like to add, is that we need to find the best location to place this playground and what types of activities we will have there. I know this is part of the study, however, not everyone is in favour of the study (i.e. location and equipment to be used).

    We need to be talking to all parties involved in this situation and find an agreeable solution; then we should build it. This also means if we did not yet receive the funds from Landrex we can use reserve funds until Landrex built Phase 11 and pay their recreation dues. An in-house loan from reserve funds to capital expenditures.

    We would also need to coordinate this effort by making sure that the location we want to put this playground does not interfere with the construction of Phase 11.

    Thank you.

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