by Colin Smith
Morinville wants the Alberta government to involve municipalities early in the planning for new school sites and is once again seeking AUMA action to move that forward.
At its June 11 meeting, Town Council approved a resolution on school site procurement to be submitted to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) for consideration at its 2019 convention.
The resolution calls on the AUMA to formally request that “the relevant Provincial Departments (Municipal Affairs, Learning and Infrastructure, etc.) develop necessary legislation, policy, and procedures to ensure early and productive engagement with Alberta municipalities in the early stages of planning, and the announcements of new school sites.”
The motion to submit the AUMA resolution stems from past experience in preparing the sites for the two new schools currently under construction in Morinville, Mayor Barry Turner said in an email message.
According to Turner, the Town received no advance warning when the school projects were initially announced, and had to prepare two new school sites in difficult situations under very short timeframes.
“Had the process involved more proactive collaboration and communication between the Government of Alberta, the school boards and the Town of Morinville the process would have been much smoother for all involved,” he said.
Turner noted that the Town put forward a similar resolution at the AUMA convention a few years ago. The motion passed but nothing has come of it so far.
“We would like to put this motion on the floor now to again bring the issue forward to the Government of Alberta to re-engage in this conversation and prompt some systemic change to improve communication and planning amongst all of the partners involved in the funding, locating, constructing and operating new schools,” he said.
“I’m really pleased this council is taking another kick at the cat on this,” said Councillor Stephen Dafoe in the discussion on the resolution.
Council directed the Administration to forward the resolution to AUMA for consideration at the convention, which takes place September 25 to 27 in Edmonton.