Year-in-Review: April

Our annual Year-in-Review series continues today with a look back at March and April 2013. We will be publishing two months of review each day during the remainder of our holiday closure here at the Morinville News. The entire Year-in-Review will be published in our Jan. 8 print edition.

Morinville Fish and Game Association lease renewed

Morinville Fish and Game Association (MFGA) President Len Kondro spoke before Mayor Paul Krauskopf and Council Mar. 26 in reference to extending the current land lease and expanding the lease to include additional property. Council approved both requests with a 35-year lease. The favourable motion gave the MFGA an opportunity to proceed with plans for the removal of the association’s existing club house and the construction of a new building.

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A weekend of medals

Morinville Legion members Walter Corbett and Lou Newell were the recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Apr. 6. Royal Canadian Legion District 8 Commander Ted Latimer and Morinville Mayor Paul Krauskopf made the presentation. More than 100 people from 15 communities were in attendance.

Corbett, the Morinville Legion’s Branch Service Officer successfully assisted and represented many veterans, their spouses and families in their attempt to complete forms and secure disability benefits and services from Veterans Affairs Canada. WWII veteran Lou Newell received the medal for his decades of service to the many communities he has lived in, his service to the Legions he has been a member of, and his decades of service to the Lions Club.

Master Plan looks to shape activities for next 25 years

Several months of work culminated in a 122-page document that was presented to Morinville Town Council Apr. 9. The Regional Recreation Master Plan document provided results of data gathered over the previous several months from residents and stakeholders at a number of open houses, as well as through an online survey.

Ninety-six per cent of participants felt that recreation was an essential community service. Participants ranked families, youth and seniors as the pecking order for providing those recreational services. Topping the list for the types of facilities needed in the region were a multipurpose facility with a pool, areas for unstructured recreation, softball fields, hockey rinks, and fitness and weight training facilities. Tennis courts, soccer fields and skateboard parks ranked towards the bottom of the list for participants.

Funding facilities through taxation was acceptable to 72 per cent of participants, however how much tax residents were willing to pay was less conclusive. Participants were split almost equally over four options. Approximately 25 per cent of residents were each willing to pay $25 a year, up to $50 a year, up to $75 a year, and $76 or more annually.

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Teacher wins national award

The Alberta Association for Community Living and the Canadian Association for Community Living presented Morinville resident and Edmonton Public Schools teacher Meghan Loney with a National Inclusive Education Award in early April.
Loney, who has lived in Morinville for 24 years, had been a teacher for the previous five years and taught a combined Grade 1 and 2 class at Edmonton’s Beacon Heights School. She received the award for her commitment to inclusive education and was nominated by a parent who consulted with other parents about the nomination.

Loney said she felt honoured and touched when she learned she had won the award. “I felt blessed to be recognized for my work, and I work with an outstanding team who so deserves the recognition,” she said, adding over the past couple of years she has taught children with a variety of needs and has become a strong believer every child can be a member of a classroom community.

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South Glens neighbourhood floods

Rising waters on 97 Street and 79 Avenue in South Glens prompted many phone calls to Town of Morinville offices Apr. 23 as well as a visit from Edmonton’s CTV to investigate the matter.

Melting snow caused a storm pond in the Morinville subdivision to overflow and make its way into backyards and the major intersection. That water had risen to the edge of driveways by Tuesday morning. As of 3 p.m. that afternoon, Town Administration indicated the waters were already receding and that they would be continuing to work through the night to reduce them more. The waters returned and subsided again a couple days later.

Council approves changes to remuneration policy

Changes to Council’s per diem and remuneration policy took effect in May after Council voted 3-2 in favour of the changes at the end of April. Under the approved policy, Council’s honorarium remained at the level set Jan. 1. At that time, a three per cent cost of living increase raised the mayor’s monthly honorarium to $2,492.75, the Deputy Mayor’s honorarium to $1,527.24, and a councillor’s honorarium to $1,211.93. This honorarium covers the normal business of Council, including meetings, preparation for meetings, dealing with public concerns, as well as attending town social events. The policy also covered Council’s per diem of $100 for activities less than four hours in length and $200 for activities longer than four hours in length. This remuneration is paid for parades, ribbon cuttings and other and other ceremonies and events when they occur out of town and when the member of Council is invited and acting in an official capacity.

A significant change to the policy was that Council members voted to be paid a per diem for attending all day budget meetings and strategic planning sessions, something that had previously been part of the base honorarium. Based on a full compliment of seven councillors attending five such meetings per year, it was estimated the per diem change would add another $7,000 per year to Council’s budget.

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