by Colin Smith
Organizers of the LAVIII monument for Morinville are raring to go, but for a brief period it looked like the project might come to a screeching halt.
Spokesman Gord Putnam made a presentation to Town Council at its June 11 meeting and said much of the organization and planning work is done for the project that will see a reconditioned LAV III military vehicle installed as a monument on the Morinville Leisure Centre site.
“We’re ready to roll, ready to move forward with this,” he said.
But according to Putnam, a Council decision earlier this year to change the location of the monument on the Leisure Centre site had the project organizing committee “pumping the brakes.”
They were unhappy with the plan to relocate it from the southeast to the southwest corner of the site, with access being a factor.
“We have a real concern about moving to the southwest corner of the site,” Putnam said. “We don’t think it will work in the southwest corner. The location of the site of the LAVIII is critical to the success of the project.”
In the light of the committee’s objection, and following a closed session between the Rotary Club and Council, Councillor Sarah Hall moved that Council rescind its earlier motion to relocate the monument so that it will stay in the spot originally proposed.
The motion carried with Barry Turner, Stephen Dafoe, Sarah Hall, Lawrence Giffin and Scott Richardson in favour, and Rebecca Balanko and Nicole Boutestein opposed.
Morinville was selected in 2016 to receive one of 250 reconditioned LAV III (Light Armored Vehicle) units as part of the military’s National LAV III Monument Program.
Morinville resident and retired soldier Trooper Jayson Wood had begun the application process in June of 2015.
The cost of acquiring and purchasing the LAVIII and transporting it to Morinville is $51,000, which is being met by the Morinville Rotary Club
In addition to the LAV III unit, the area surrounding it will include trees, monument signage, and other park amenities. The total value of the Rotary initiative is $450,000.
Other groups that have become involved in the project include the Royal Canadian Legion and Centralta.