Morrin council met on Wed. Jan. 8 to start the budgeting process. Council requested the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) obtain quotes from MP Engineering (MPE) for two capital projects on the table.
The Railway project for sleeving the sewer line on Railway Ave. to 1st St. S. and the Main Street project from the hotel to the intersection at the Starland County building.
CAO Annette Plachner agreed to make it a priority with MPE for definitive numbers for the next budget meeting.
Council had already received a quote for over $300,000 for sleeving the Railway line but according to Plachner, a second estimate for the job has come in over $780,000.
Mayor Howard Helton asked to have this figure clarified before moving forward.
“Should we be changing our focus this year to this piece of Main Street?” continued Helton, following the sewer line blockage dealt with in December in front of the store, that is estimated to cost $11,000 to $12,000.
“That’s a big dollar for us if we are going to proceed with one or the other this year,” said Helton. “And we want to be on the ground floor as to contractors because we have that [100th anniversary] celebration this year.”
Other dollar estimates council requires for the budget is the condition of the laterals on 2nd Ave. N., tree removal and replacement, fire hydrant deficiencies, sidewalk repairs, approach at the machinery park, completion of sidewalk shaving and demolition of the Noble house.
“We will want to put a dollar value on that demolition and reclaiming that,” said Helton. “Costs for the demolition will have to include an asbestos assessment.”
Looking at the ‘Green Space’ overage of about $10,000, CAO Plachner confirmed that the total costs on the 2019 expenditures did not include the groundwork as it was incorrectly applied to the Roads and Streets line item in the 2019 expenditures supplied to council at their request.
Council asked that an accurate total for the green space and the roads and streets be provided for at the next budget meeting.
“That would help us with giving us a different view on what the roads and streets cost really was,” said Helton. Helton also informed CAO Plachner that a separate line item will have to be added for the provincial Police Funding Model.
Plachner told council she was not aware of this expense addition and asked Mayor Helton where he had got the numbers from.
Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) had forwarded the module in a letter showing the municipal impacts of the model which he had obtained from the Mayor and CAO of Three Hills.
The funding model shows the village costs to be $4,077 for the first year in 2020, according to a notice supplied to AUMA from the government.
Each subsequent year increase will be $6120; $8154 and $12,240 by 2024.
During the discussion on the fire hydrant deficiency, Plachner informed council that Glen Riep, Fire Chief Darcy Davidson and public works foreman Dave Benci are doing the fire hydrants and water values on Jan. 26.
It had been discovered the new hydrant in front of the hotel wasn’t working when the county office burned down in May 2018.
“Regardless of it [the hydrant] being new, it didn’t work,” said Helton.
“We need some idea of what it’s going to cost for those deficiencies because that might be a fair dollar,” he added.
Helton concluded, “That’s mostly what I want to do today, is get some ideas we might require a cost on,” said Mayor Helton before finalizing the budget.”