Few fire hydrants operational

Morrin council learned that only the one new fire hydrant at the new county shop was operational.

A written report presented to council at their regular meeting May 20 showed that the hydrant at the hotel does not work at all and all others were difficult to turn or leaked.

Council had dealt with this matter in a motion at their regular Nov. 20, 2019 meeting instructing their Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Annette Plachner to have Public Works contact Glen Riep and address the issues with the fire hydrants as soon as possible before it becomes a liability issue for the village.

Six valves were seized completely, others were either buried, full of dirt, under the pavement, and one with a bent shaft.

“Oh, my goodness,” said Coun. M’Liss Edwards.

Council again motioned for the matter to be a priority for getting a comprehensive report with a minimum of two quotes immediately for the work to be prepared for budget consideration.

The tests were performed and monitored by Glen Riep, the village’s certified water operator, firefighter, Chris Brown, Fire Chief Darcy Davidson and Public Works Foreman David Benci.


Council received a letter of resignation from Riep dated May 15, 2020 as the village ’s certified operator for water distribution and wastewater treatment operations, stating he was resigning as of May 31, 2020.

“This decision to conclude my 23 years of service as the operator of the Morrin water system is made for my personal well-being,” stated the letter, “and was not necessitated or directed by Starland County or County council.”

“What do we do now when he leaves?” questioned Coun. Edwards.

“Alberta Environment has been contacted and I guess we’ll have to look for a certified operator,” said Mayor Howard Helton. “We have less than two weeks to do so.”

“Why do we not have a backup. We had coverage when Glen was away or sick. How does that not work anymore?”

“No, the back up was provided by Riep Enterprises,” said CAO Plachner.

Plachner is to check with Starland County to see if there is someone for the interim until such time as a certified operator can be found.

“I thought he would stay a month since his contract was on a monthly basis, but I guess not,” said Mayor Helton.


Council approved a motion to purchase 16 trees from Linden Tree Farm at a cost of $780 with Mayor Helton volunteering to pick them up.

Two of the four quotes received were ‘more or less local’ and the other two quotes were not local.

The other three quotes were from Eagle Lake Nurseries for $3,558.11 delivered; Kneehill Creek Trees $1,540 delivered; and Prairie Evergreens $1,840, pick up.

“This is a no brainer to go with the $780 if you are willing to pick them up,” stated Coun. Melissa Wilton.

Bins for cleanup

Council opted to not provide the village with garbage bins for spring cleanup after reviewing a quote from Drumheller Landfill.

A 30-yard container for waste would cost approximately $1,315 plus tax for delivery of the bin, and one haul and disposal of three metric tons and a metal bin was quoted at approximately $845.

A cost of $156.60 plus tax is what would be charged if the waste went over the minimum metric tonnage.

“Personally, I don’t think it is worth it,” said Coun. Wilton.

Wilton suggested there may be volunteers to help residents that would require a truck to transport their garbage to the landfill.


Mayor Helton, in the absence of two quotes for the hazardous assessment on the Toby Noble house, provided CAO Plachner two options for companies to contact to assess any hazardous materials and the handling of those materials in the building before demolition.

Sewer concerns

Council tabled any decisions on the Hampton sewer line until they camera the line to see where the problem lies.

“What is the problem, they’re gone, it freezes?” asked Coun. Edwards. 

“It’s a sewer line,” said Helton,  “If it’s holding water, then there must be something sagging to cause it to freeze.”

“Cameraing it should give us as to whose responsibility it should be”, he added.

Council motioned to accept the North Drum Plumbing quote of $2160 to camera the sewer laterals. Two other quotes for $1920 and $2250 were received from Certa Property Inspections and Dusty’s Plumbing.

Sod House Society request

Council tabled a motion from the Morrin Sod House Society asking for help  since they have taken over possession of the former United Church building for the purpose of developing a museum.

“They probably have something monetary in mind,” said Mayor Helton and asked that it be tabled for a budget item.

Public Works report

Motions were made for two comprehensive bids for the four locations listed needing repairs which includes water leaks, sewer lateral repair at 210 and 205 1st Ave. South and 201 and 210 on 2nd Ave North and South, respectively.

A motion to obtain two bids for the repair of a manhole that is protruding above the pavement was also requested of the CAO.

Council reports

Coun. Edwards reported on her meeting with the Drumheller and District Seniors Foundation noting a fundraiser bottle drive is being held to help furnish the new double four-unit.

She also noted no cases of COVID-19 had yet reached any of the senior’s centres and that the homes were being opened up to one visitor per resident.

Director of Emergency Services Edwards also noted that the Morrin seniors can now have their bingo because they were social distancing and cleaning.

Council motioned to accept Kim Neill as the new president of the Morrin Library Board, as reported by Coun. Wilton.

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