by Tristan Turner
Council to meet with community stakeholders and public on rec centre
After a brief Administrative update, Council and Administration have confirmed their Oct. 15 meeting with surrounding municipalities on the rec centre project is a go. As well, Mayor Holmes confirmed the attendance of officials from Alexander First Nation at the meeting. The Town has said they are beginning to work with the new Architectural and project management firm hired for the project (ATB) in preparation for this meeting and their introductions to surrounding municipalities.
The Town has also confirmed they are beginning to work with ATB on preparing for another community open house and update on the project for Oct. 28 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
In response to a question from Councillor Stephen Dafoe, CAO Debbie Oyarzun said that the process and format for how the meeting will be operated will be determined shortly following Council’s Oct. 20 Committee of the Whole meeting. Information will then be shared with the community before the event.
Council pleased with traffic data
Following a couple of requests for information at previous Council meetings, Administration has come back with responses to Council on traffic enforcement issues.
First was a previous request made regarding a more detailed breakdown of traffic enforcement data in what the town describes as enforcement zone M426, along Sunnydale Road between 86 Street and 88 Street. The data given by the Town showed a total of 15 enforcement hours spent in the areas and zero tickets issued for April, May and June. The report was praised by Councillor Gordon Putnam who said, “I like this information; it comes from a public request, and I like to be able to provide that information. It’s good for us, and it’s good for Administration.”
Putnam went on to say that perhaps in the next negotiations with the traffic enforcement contractor, these reports should potentially be stipulated as requirements for the town.
Councillor Stephen Dafoe made a request at the last Council meeting regarding a speed tracking sign that was moved 200 metres west on 100 Avenue to accommodate a new Morinville Museum sign. Dafoe had expressed concerns at the time that the movement might see an increase in speed in the busy downtown core.
David Schaefer, the Town’s Director of Corporate Operations, said the change had a minimal effect on speeding, and that the average speed was in the 44 to 48 kilometre an hour range.
Presenting information gathered from the traffic education sign itself, Schaefer said “statistically the information provided shows that the average speeds are consistent throughout the whole area and speeding statistics are consistent with years previous.”
Schaefer’s information revealed that while 16 per cent of drivers speed on 100 Avenue, a much smaller percentage ar speeding to a tickable level.
Councillor Dafoe said he appreciated the information and that it “satisfied many of his concerns.” He went on to say in the future he would like to see more information regarding the comparison of between the number of speeders and the actual percentage of speeders that would have received a ticket.
Council happy with youth centre move
Council has received an update from Administration on their recent move to relocate the teen centre from its former home at the Lion’s clubhouse into the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. The move has seen a substantial increase in programming attendance following the move.
The program has seen 201 youth take part in the month of September, and 59 in their first week of operation since the move. Administration reported to council that both staff and youth members have had positive responses to the location change, which is now adjacent to the Morinville Community High School.
The information comes in response to an information request from Councillor Nicole Boutestein on what the potential revenue loss of holding the Youth Centre in the mezzanine of the cultural centre was as the area is sometimes rented out to individuals and businesses.
Administration reported that mezzanine rentals brought in $2,100 in revenue for the Town so far this year, but that dedicating the space to the Youth Centre may actually bring the town more revenue as a result of cost sharing opportunities with the province in the FCSS program.
Council unanimously passes strategic plan
After making a few cosmetic changes and a long discussion, Council unanimously adopted their strategic plan for the remainder of their term.
The majority of the discussion and debate from Council was on how they should go about organizing the release of the plan in the future, and ensuring that the strategic plan continues to, as put by Mayor Lisa Holmes and Deputy Mayor Barry Turner, “feed the budget process.”
Mayor Holmes finished the discussion by saying that Council will approve the document as it has been presented to them by Administration with only a few tweaks to language and layout, and that Council will release a revised version of the document before the final version of the budget for their remaining term. Each year they will re-approach the plan and make adjustments to their priorities for the year that will “inform the budgeting process”, according to Mayor Holmes.