by Tristan Turner
After a long debate, Council has yet again deferred a decision on the south town entrance sign project until next year.
While the project was included and approved in the 2015 budget, Council has unanimously axed the project for 2015, though there is no consensus on why. The debate began with Councillor Rob Ladouceur and Mayor Lisa Holmes citing concerns about the scope of the project, both saying that perhaps the sign was not large enough or lit well enough for a major entrance into the community.
The $50,000 south entrance sign project was approved by Council in the 2015 budget to construct an entrance sign nearly identical to those on either end of 100 Avenue (though slightly larger) at the intersection between Cardiff Road and Highway 2. The proposed sign would be built in a way that it could be moved if the province completes the overpass project in the area.
Council was only discussing the final design of the sign, when they decided to look at the project next year instead.
Councillor Rob Ladouceur talked about his desire to compare the sign presented to Council with other potential options at higher price points. “The cost of this sign to me doesn’t seem huge, and I thought it was going to be more,” he said. “We’re trying to strengthen our position in the Capital Region, and we’re doing a very good job of that. I think people need to understand who Morinville is, and part of that is making it an appealing community, or more so than it already is. I think that having a proper entrance sign that is illuminated… is really important… I would just like to see what the other options are.”
Councilor Stephen Dafoe spoke clearly that he was not interested in spending even more on an entrance sign project. “I don’t think now is the time for us to be building monuments to ourselves,” Dafoe said, adding he felt Morinville was already making a name in the Capital Region with work being done at the CRB level. Dafoe said he supported the motion so he would have an opportunity to let the sign project rise and fall on its own merits during the 2016 Budget debate.
While Council did not set a date to discuss the project further at the meeting, the entrance sign will be a topic of discussion going into the 2016 budget discussions and community consultations.