by Tristan Turner
Citizens seek clarity on recreation
Murray Knight of the Morinville Citizens on the Arena presented to council regarding the potential new arena or multi-use recreational facility. Knight and approximately 30 people who came to hear him speak sought clarity on a number of rumours he said were circulating on the subject of a recreation facility.
“This is a hugely important decision for the future of our community,” Knight said. “We are hearing way too many rumors, and receiving way too little information. We need to stop the confusion, look at all the options, and listen to the people.”
Knight’s presentation to Council included eight questions, which he requested Mayor Lisa Holmes to answer.
Among Knight’s list of eight questions was whether or not there was any truth to the speculation that the Town is not interested in looking at a multi-use regional recreation facility with Sturgeon County.
Mayor Holmes said there was no truth to the rumour. “We have been working for years on the Regional Recreation Master Plan with Sturgeon County and all of the municipalities within it, and we’ve had lots of conversations with Sturgeon County about these opportunities.”
Another of the rumours Knight presented Tuesday night was that the design and construction contracts for a Morinville facility had already been signed.
Mayor Holmes also refuted the rumour saying, “No, nothing has been signed because no decision has been made. We make our decisions in public, and we only made the one decision to investigate replacing the Arena through the budget. So saying that we signed contracts is not true.”
The Mayor invited Knight and his group to the recreation open house scheduled for Apr. 28. After passing $1 million towards a project in the budget, Council met with minor, junior and senior hockey, the curling club, Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce to seek input. Council launched the public consultation portion of their recreation project with an online survey, kicked off at the Trade Show Apr. 11 to 13.
Council Passes Land Use Bylaw Amendments
Council unanimously passed First Reading of Land Use Bylaw 12/2014 that would see an area of town south of the CN Rail Line and west of 100 Street be redistricted from Urban Reserve (UR) District to Corridor Commercial (C-3) District. This 160-acre plot of land was identified in the Municipal Development Plan to be commercially districted in the future, and this proposal is only now being put forward to Council because of a request to develop the land submitted by it’s current owner, Landrex Inc.
A public hearing regarding Bylaw 12/2014 is currently scheduled for Council’s May 27 meeting at 7:30 pm, after which 2nd and 3rd readings on the Bylaw will likely be held.
99A Avenue Upgrade Approved
Council unanimously supported spending $129,400 from unused Utility Reserves and $510,965 in unused Road Grants to install a waterline and further design and upgrade the road, respectively. The road that sits behind Shell and the Morinville Christian School and runs between 104 Street and 107 Street will be paved and upgraded with storm sewers following a new apartment and commercial project currently being developed along the road.
Rail Safety Week
Council unanimously approved a motion declaring the week of Apr. 28 to May 4, 2014 as Rail Safety Week in Morinville. This decision came after a request from Operation Lifesaver – a national rail safety advocacy group – was sent to the town to make the declaration, in congruence with the National Rail Safety Week that will be occurring over the same period.