By Morinville News Staff
Morinville – Population in Morinville could be between 13,000 and 15,000 by 2044 if growth projection targets remain on track in the coming years. Tim Vrooman, a planner with Morinville’s Planning and Development Department, made a presentation to Council May 22, providing an overview of the community’s makeup and future in economic development terms.
The planner explained Morinville has seen an annual growth rate of 4.7 per cent over the past five years, numbers that have swelled Morinville’s population to 8,569. Projections for the next 32 years show an annual growth rate ranging from 1.3 per cent to 1.9 per cent, numbers that would see Morinville with a population between 13,375 and 15,623 by 2044.
Vrooman said Morinville is well positioned with infrastructure to handle those numbers and more. The community currently has existing service capacity for water and sewer to accommodate a population of 30,000.
While Morinville has the infrastructure and a 44.5 hectare business / industrial park of 1.5- to 2-acre fully-serviced lots to accommodate more business and small industry, residential growth will continue to be a focus for the near future from an economic development standpoint.
“Residential still continues to be the focus of the community as we strive to be the family choice, Vrooman said, adding increased population is a step necessary to attract business and industry to Morinville.
Morinville is a young community demographically, something in keeping with the community’s Family Choice slogan and something that could be attractive to business and industry looking for a place to set up shop. Vrooman’s presentation showed the median age in Morinville is 33.6 – a figure he said has not fluctuated in recent years. The same demographic statistics indicate 44 per cent of adults have post-secondary education and that the average family income was $79,432. However, only 22 per cent of the population work in Morinville.
But with an increase in population, there is a need for accommodations. Although housing starts spiked along with population growth a few years ago, placing Morinville at the top of communities in the Capital Region, things seem to have levelled off to be comparable to other communities in the region.
“We are on par with housing starts this year to last year,” Vrooman said, noting he anticipates seeing 70 to 80 single-family and 30 to 35 multi-family dwellings by year’s end. “The numbers so far show the residential activity is above 2011 numbers; however previous years were considerably higher.”
Non-residential units are anticipated to come in between $4 and $6 million by the end of 2012.
Given that 78% of the Morinville population works outside the town, champion is no longer the big employer that the town needs to depend on to survive. In fact if we are targeting increased residential growth and supporting businesses, this town doesn’t need nor want a business such as champion going forwards.
Town council should pull their heads out of the sand and start supporting the residents. All campaigned on platforms of positive growth, and yet when asked to support growth that is clearly reflected in residential numbers they all turn and hide.
Remember that as residents we have the duty to ask our council to act like adults instead of the high school club with old town Morinville views that they have had to date.
Remember, lets all make a point. Spend the two minutes each time you smell the plant stink and submit the online complaint form. Its the number one, most important thing we as residents can do if we want continued future growth and new businesses in the area.
Sorry Matt, I think it’s you that should be pulling your head out of the sand! No town, of any size, that is expanding can survive on residential taxes alone! We need business’s big and small. We should be striving to have 50% or more of the population of Morinville working in Morinville! That would mean much more of our tax base would be supported by business rather than residential! I live in the south east corner of Morinville by the railroad tracks and I cannot honestly say that the smell from Champion is a problem! Granted, at times it is very strong if the wind is from the south but at other times I get a smell of sewage from the lift station at the east end of town if the wind is from the north. Not a big deal. Using the online complaint form every time you smell something will prove nothing. And please don’t speak for the town! Your views are one person. If you are so passionate about the smells in Morinville, run for Mayor or Council. You also have the option of moving. Just bear in mind that the grass is not always greener someplace else.