Morinville Council Briefs

by Colin Smith

Below are a few short items from Tuesday, May 28’s Council meeting. Other items were published as separate articles earlier this week.

New Staff Sergeant

New Morinville RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Darcy McGunigal was introduced by Mayor Simon Boersma at the town council meeting Tuesday.

McGunigal presented the detachment’s fourth-quarter report, which indicated that total criminal code offences were down 38% compared to the same period in the previous year.

Persons crime dropped from 43 incidents to 28 and property crime from 115 to 64. Other criminal code offences were down to 41 from 56.

Among other police concerns, spousal abuse complaints went down from 31 to 16, false alarms were up from nine to 17 and there were 27 suspicious person/vehicle/property reports, up from 24. Five missing persons were reported, compared to four the previous year.

In his discussion with council McGunigal emphasized the open and pro-active approach he expects to take.

“I want the police to be seen as part of the community,” he said. “The goal is to work together with the community.”

Staff Sergeant Lew Simms who had been acting Morinville detachment commander was also at the meeting and was presented with a card in appreciation of his work in the position.

POLICING COMMITTEE

Council is seeking discussions with Alexander First Nation and municipalities served by the Morinville RCMP detachment on whether there is interest in forming a regional policing committee.

It passed a motion directing administration to engage with regional partners about such a committee, whose aim would be to promote community education and improve community safety and regional collaboration

The move followed presentation of an administration report relating that the Police Amendment Act introduced by the provincial government may call for municipalities policed by the RCMP that have populations between 5,000 and 15,000 to participate in regional policing committees.

RAIN BARREL PROGRAM

A program to encourage use of rain barrels by Morinville residents has been tentatively approved by council.

Rain barrels are seen as providing benefits including conserving drinkable water and reducing the energy used to treat and pump drinking water. In addition, the water is free – saving money on residents’ water bills – and rainwater is non-chlorinated which can be better for plants.

Rain barrel programs are operated by a number of municipalities including St. Albert, Sturgeon County, Bon Accord and Legal.

One proposed model for Morinville would see the town bulk purchase rain barrels at a highly competitive rate through Sturgeon County’s purchasing program and then sell them to residents at cost. Another possibility raised was for rebates to be offered on rain barrels purchased from local merchants.

Council passed a motion directing administration to include the rain barrel program in the 2025 budget.

STRATEGIC PLAN HIGHLIGHTS

Morinville Chief Administrative Officer Naleen Narayan presented council with a snapshot of initiatives contributing to the fulfillment of the town’s 2023 Strategic Plan.

The plan incorporates Morinville’s six basic goals: community building, community safety and wellbeing, financial stewardship, environmental responsibility, economic development and collaborative relationships.

Among the highlights pointed out in the report were: the 2024 Budget Engagement Process, approval of the design and construction phase of the Highway 642 and Grandin Drive signalization project, set for September, and development of a five-year operational plan and 10-year capital plan.

Others were this year’s Pitch-In Community Cleanup, 2023 Morinville Festival Days and the signing of mutual aid agreements by the Morinville Fire Department and Alexander First Nation.

 

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