Morinville Council Briefs

By Morinville News Staff

Temporary Borrowing Bylaw approved

Councillors gave all three readings to a bylaw that will allow them to borrow some money if the need arises.

Chief Financial Officer Andy Isbister said the bylaw renewal was at the request of Servus Credit Union who, in their annual review of credit facilities for the Town, indicated the bylaw must be renewed and submitted annually. The last time that occurred was in 2008.

The bylaw allows the Town of Morinville to have a $1 million line of credit with Servus Credit Union, monies that would be borrowed if the Town’s own investments had not yet matured and it found itself in need of meeting short-term financial obligations.

The intent is to now have the bylaw return to Council annually for renewal.

Municipal Planning Commission Bylaw passes first reading

Council gave unanimous first reading to the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) Bylaw at the Oct. 9 meeting of Council.

Morinville’s Director of Planning and Development, Greg Hofmann, said the bylaw has been in the works for more than a year and followed on the heels of a revision to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board Bylaw.

“It has gone through quite a review process with the Municipal Planning Commission itself,” Hofmann said, noting Morinville’s legislative officer and planning staff also had given the document a thorough review, comparing it to other municipality’s documents.

Highlights of the bylaw include setting limitations for the length of membership terms and establishing clear duties for the MPC. The role of the MPC, which consists of two members of Council and three public members at large, is to act as Development Authority in accordance with Section 624 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). They receive, consider and decide on development applications, using the MGA and Morinville’s Land Use Bylaw as a guide.

The bylaw is not the type that requires a public hearing under the MGA. Second and third reading could happen as early as Oct. 23.

Auditor retained

Hawkings Epp Dumont LPP will be Morinville’s auditor for another year after Council voted unanimously Oct. 9 to retain the firm’s services for another year.

The Municipal Government Act requires Morinville to appoint an external auditor to examine the Town’s books. Hawkings Epp Dumont LPP was appointed auditor in 2007 for a five-year term. That term ended in 2011 and the firm’s position has been now extended to cover the audit for the 2012 fiscal year.

Council reviewed the company’s services in the spring of 2012, focusing on the areas of quality of communications, planning and conduct, scope of external audit, composition of audit team, and independence of the external audit.

Chief Financial Officer Andy Isbister said that review was favourable and recommended the extension to Council to cover this year’s audit.

Councillor Gordon Boddez was not pleased with the decision to extend the contract beyond the original five-year term. “I’m one of those people that feel … it should be part of our policy that we go out and do an RFP [Request for Proposal],” he said, adding he was pleased with the service the auditing firm has given the municipality. “Five years is ample time to do that. I’m one of those people that feel we should be striving to for next year going out for an RFP. I think that should be built right into policy.”

Administration confirmed an RFP would be sent out for the 2013 audit.

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