by Tristan Turner
Council received the second quarter report regarding Town operations and budget updates from Town Administration during their Aug. 25 meeting. It is a wide-ranging document with information from many Town departments and operations, including Traffic Enforcement and outcomes from Cultural Centre events and programming, as well as capital spending.
Cultural Centre praised
The Community Cultural Centre and programming was a bright spot in the report, at least for Councillor Stephen Dafoe who said it was “leaps and bounds above” the impact of programs offered two years ago.
In the second quarter the Town was about $6,000 in the black for their Cultural Centre concert series, a change from many previous quarters mired in red ink.
Dafoe said he was pleased to see a roughly $6,000 net profit on the three performance events held during the quarter, two of which were run by the Town and the Calvin Volrath series.
Dafoe said he was also pleased or see community services program participation ranging between 75 and 100 percent capacity during the quarter.
Photo radar site questioned
Traffic Enforcement was an area of contention between Administration and Council, however. A high volume of enforcement hours and tickets along Cardiff Road was problematic for Councillor Dafoe.
“When I look at Cardiff Road at or near 94 Street during that quarter 43 hours, 351 tickets, and I just feel there’s too much time being spent there and maybe that should be shaken up into some of these residential areas,” Dafoe said, going on to say the “cash cow” optics look bad.
Director of Corporate Operations David Schaefer disagreed with Dafoe’s comments.
“If you look at percentages and tickets, the road has a lot of high flyers, and as you’ve seen in the last week we had a death in the near community of this,” Schaefer said referring to a traffic fatality on Highway 2. “The idea of photo enforcement and the placement of our areas is to focus on areas of speeding. Cardiff Road continues to be… a high priority.”
Dafoe suggested some “boots on the ground” might be more effective. Schaefer exclaimed during the discussion that “It’s just not a safe road!”
Councillor Dafoe did note he was happy with the time spent enforcing in school zones.
RCMP reports to be part of package
Mayor Lisa Holmes also made the request to include monthly RCMP reports in future quarterly reports. These documents are already being sent to town officials every month, but are not included in quarterly reports. Administration commented that these could easily be added
in the future.
If residents want to evaluate information in the report, it can be read as part of the agenda package that can be downloaded in the ‘Town Council’ portal on the town website (morinville.ca).
Town Bus Coming
Following a question from Councilor Ladouceur, Schaefer confirmed that the new community bus is on its way and will be available between mid-November and early December.