Morrin Council approves tennis courts as storage space

Morrin village council approved the use of the defunct tennis courts as storage space for the municipality. The decision was made at the June 17 regular meeting of council.

During the regular report of Public Works Foreman Nick Drangi he suggested the tennis courts, which are currently not usable, instead be pressed into service as a storage area.

Drangi noted the village “has stuff all over” and since the tennis court is fenced-off, it would be a safe place to store it.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Annette Plachner stated, coincidentally, on social media a local resident recently voiced interest in getting the tennis courts functional again.

Both Plachner and Drangi balked at the idea, stating the tennis courts’ surface is unusable and would require thousands of dollars of repairs if it was to be used for tennis.

Drangi added that it seems like a waste to have the courts just sitting there empty.

Plachner noted that the village plans to put a bigger and more secure gate on the tennis courts.

Coun. Lorraine MacArthur wondered how secure the tennis courts would be; Drangi responded once the new gate is installed it will be completely fenced-off and secure.

Councillors passed a unanimous resolution to allow staff to use the tennis courts for storage.

Bylaw enforcement
Plachner reported on the village’s efforts to hire bylaw enforcement services; earlier this year council heard concerns about aggressive dogs running at large in Morrin and a resolution was passed that the village would hire an officer to deal with such problems.

The CAO stated she spoke to a bylaw officer’s receptionist in Drumheller but no response was received by the time of the council meeting.

Councillors agreed to table the issue until the July council meeting; however, Mayor Chris Hall pointed out a special council meeting could be called before then in order to hire a bylaw officer as soon as possible.

Boundary problems
Plachner reported on a problem the Village of Morrin is having with a local property owner. According to the report made at the council meeting a property owner is claiming the village is encroaching on his property, and is also demanding to see a surveyor’s report.

Plachner reported this property owner claimed to have his own surveyor’s report but stated he was not obligated to share it with the village; he told Plachner the village had to get their own surveyor’s report.

The CAO related Morrin gets all of its surveying work done by a Drumheller company; councillors agreed the CAO should get the property in question surveyed which should reveal any encroachment if it in fact exists.

Water testing
Councillors discussed finding someone certified to monitor their water system; the new Public Works employee doesn’t have the necessary certification.

The CAO noted she’s been told such experts cost about $80 per day. Councillors agreed the village should search for someone certified to monitor the municipal water system.

Currently, Starland County is assisting the village in this regard.

Paving soon?
The village continues to search for a contractor who can do paving work.

Plachner reported a Beiseker company recently looked at work within Morrin but hasn’t provided a quote yet.

During discussion it was noted that if sidewalk sections need replacement first, it may be best to do that work before asphalt is done.

The CAO added that she is investigating grants that may be available for paving work.

Pump repairs
Drangi reported the pump was recently examined by a contractor who declined to charge the village for that service.

However, the contractor noted the pump needs to be inspected once a year; according to the contractor the last time this village pump was inspected was in 2013.

It was noted during the inspection the contractor also greased the pump, which hadn’t been done in a long time either.

Other observations from the inspection include some build-up on the copper pipes, no visible leaks and installation of new o-rings.

Councillors agreed the pump should be inspected every year.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.