Council requests several project plans and costs

Photo David Dodge, Green Energy Futures 10 kilowatt Solar PV system in Morrin Alberta at the water plant installed by Goose Creek Renewable Energy.
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Councillors instructed Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Annette Plachner to provide several plans and cost projects in time for budgeting purposes in May.

Projects include the Public Works recommendation was on the agenda for the installation of valves that was discussed at the March meeting but no plan for the whole scope of the job or cost estimates.

Mayor Howard Helton for the CAO to obtain actual quotes for the entire project from MPE Engineering Ltd. (MPE) for dealing with both the sewer and water line on Railway Ave. S. between Main Street and 1st St. South that runs to the four homes on that block and the paving.

Other project plans requested were for the green space and public works yard for the recycle bins.

Council unanimously approved a motion to move ahead with landscaping the three 30’ lots and have public works and the CAO obtain a quote from local landscapers with a view to planting grass.

Council approved the expenditure for street sweeping for $1620 plus tax in a 2 – 1 vote.

Mayor Helton was not in favour of the expense due to the work that was needed to be done with the sewer, water lines and pavement patching. Council approved a motion to repair the 1996 town truck at an estimated cost of $435 as a scan showed the transmission was slipping.

“My opinion is to authorize the repair to get it up to 100 per cent,” said Mayor Helton.

Council passed a motion unanimously to purchase and install an electric motor system for a standby water pump for $35,685.

“That would be great,” said Coun. Graham.

Council discussed the problem with the entrance to the village where water pools and the pavement has crumbled significantly.

Council agreed to have CAO Plachner hire MPE to survey the length of the town running north and south in pursuit of alleviating this problem whether it be a ditch, cement swale, or culvert and bring back a report identifying various options in repairing the potholes at the entrance.

CAO Plachner estimated the cost of the survey would be between $3,000 and $4,000.

Council asked that public works identify the areas in the village that require pothole repairs and costs.

Harassment denied

CAO Plachner addressed a letter from the publisher, Joyce Webster of the ECA Review, alleging disrespect and lack of professionalism bordering on harassment.

In reading her written response to council, she denied having called the publisher names and stated “ I have two witnesses to prove that.”

Coun. Graham and former mayor Suzanne Lacher were the only other two present in the front office of the village at the time.

Webster stated in the letter she was harassed for doing her job as a newspaper reporter when she was verbally denied a FOIP request and called a ‘stinkin’ reporter’ and a ‘witch’.

“So whatever transpired, you [Plachner] don’t feel like there’s an apology anywhere that would be offered to anyone regarding this situation?” asked Mayor Helton.

Following no response to the question, Mayor Helton read into the meeting minutes the portion of the Village of Morrin Employee Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy which states the purpose of “a standard of behaviour and actions for Village of Morrin employees.

“That was all adhered to in your view?”

Helton asked of Coun. Graham.

“First of all,” said Graham, “I was in conversation with someone else. I don’t have to eavesdrop into someone else’s conversation so I didn’t try to concentrate and what words were being said but I did hear Annette’s voice became a little louder. I think she was upset, that’s what I perceived, the request upset her and her voice was loud.”

Webster responded, “How could you not [hear]? You were two feet away?”

Harassment and violence policies

Harassment Policy and Violence Policy had been added to the agenda by Coun. Graham.

“I’m wondering why we shouldn’t just adopt them and get it going rather than let it stand and get undone?” asked Graham.

Helton responded, “We’re still waiting for some more information because, as pointed out before, the information we have so far for the harassment one is quite inadequate.”

Council had previewed the first set presented to council by CAO Plachner in the December 2018 meeting for redoing.

At that time, Plachner had urged the passing of the policies because the deadline set by OH&S had already passed.

According to Plachner, OH&S had attended the office on November 5, 2018 and set a deadline of December 5, 2018, however, the information wasn’t before council until the December 19 meeting.

The policy presented to council was a copy from Municipal Affairs but the blanks left within this sample policy had not been filled in making the two policies inadequate, according to council.

“Do you want to be in charge of developing one then?” asked Mayor Helton of Coun. Graham.

“I will still be advocating that that [policy] be submitted to legal counsel to review whatever you come up,” added Helton. “It’s quite a serious issue. Both of them are harassment and violence things. That’s why I’m waiting for more information.”

“I’ll try and bring it back in the timeline of a couple months,” agreed Graham.

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