by Ashley Janes
Council honours local ball player
Local athlete Zach Froment was recognized by Council on Tuesday, Nov. 26, for receiving one of Baseball Alberta’s Player of the Year Awards in the category of Pee Wee ‘AAA’. The award is presented annually and candidates are selected by their coaches. “I guess I had a pretty good year.” Froment said. Alberta Baseball dictates that the winning player must show good sportsmanship, a dedication to the game of baseball and leadership qualities, while exemplifying a high level of play on the field. Acknowledging Froment’s accomplishment is part of Town Council’s new initiative to recognize local achievements and, at the same time, invite the community into Council Chambers to celebrate.
Third Quarter Report reviewed
That same evening, Town Administration presented Council with the 3rd Quarter Report. Chief Administrative Officer, Debbie Oyarzun, explained that the review would have typically taken place earlier in the year but was delayed due to election and orientation schedules.
Key information within the report included Planning and Development statistics, which showed that Morinville surpassed its desirable and healthy growth rate; however, the statistics prove fairly consistent with 2012 activity. There were also 46 business licenses issued in the 3rd quarter with almost two thirds being generated from new applications.
Automated Traffic Enforcement Program provided by Innovative Traffic Solutions (ITS) was also given to Council. The report stated that 1,426 tickets were issued throughout the quarter which is an increase of 624 tickets when compared to the same quarter of 2012. Director of Corporate Operations, David Schaefer, was optimistic about the results. “One nice thing about this program combined with enforcement is that we do see positive actions and I think that’s a thing that needs to be highlighted. We have very high compliance.”
Councilor Stephen Dafoe had questions about the program. Specifically, why 74 hours were spent at the section of Cardiff Road between 100 Street and 94 Street when only 21 hours were spent at Morinville Public Elementary School where 89 tickets had been issued, proving that the area was susceptible to speeding traffic. “I understand that it [was] summer, children [weren’t] going to school, but I would presume they’re still going to the playground […] So, why so little time spent there?”
Schaefer assured Councillor Dafoe that the total program is being reviewed so that the hours and locations will be administered through the Traffic Advisory Committee in Morinville. Schaefer will be meeting with ITS on Thursday, Nov. 28, to discuss the future of the program.
Motion passed to move speed education sign
Immediately following, Councillor Dafoe made a motion to move the speed education sign currently posted on the far eastside of Town. He believes speed education signs are effective with most drivers because they inform them of their speed and provide an instant opportunity to correct, but that the sign in question should be in a better location. “The east end sign currently sits west of the entrance to Sunshine Estates on 87 Street and west of a school bus drop off and pick up location at the pump house,” Dafoe said. “By moving the sign east of that location, closer to East Boundary Road, drivers will be given the reminder of their speed before rather than after they enter that residential area.” Town Administration did not foresee any issue with moving the solar powered sign. Dafoe’s motion passed unanimously.
Council postpones interim budget decision
After the speed education sign motion was passed, Administration recommended that Council approve an interim operating budget in the amount of $3, 939, 936 representing 25 per cent of the 2013 operating budget to cover operational expenditures for the period of Jan. 1 to Mar. 31, 2014. Councillor Rob Ladouceur responded, stating that Council is not yet able to make an informed decision, even on an interim budget. “I would suggest that we as a Council meet and have some explanation as to this budget and some of the responsibilities when it comes to budgeting. That’s something that we really haven’t had yet.” Councillor Ladouceur then moved to postpone the decision regarding an interim budget until the Dec.10 Council meeting to ensure Councillors were in a better position to make it. The motion was passed unanimously and the discussion of an interim budget was deferred until the proposed date.