Morrin council held a special meeting to continue working through their 2020 budget on April 8.
Frustration on the part of all parties ran rampant.
“I didn’t get this [budget] before today. Is this the same on what we looked over on our January [budget] meeting? asked Mayor Helton.
“I think so, ya, I couldn’t find my notes from the January meeting,” stated CAO Annette Plachner. “It’s an estimate from last year and kind of partially of this year for what I know.”
“So it’s basically back to having no figures to really determine our budget? asked Helton. Are they [estimates] going to be in for our budget?”
CAO Plachner informed council she was not able to acquire the necessary estimates as all the businesses are closed due to the coronavirus.
Mayor Helton suggested that quotes would still be attainable especially if those giving quotes who have been here before.
Council questioned the costing on the bulk water and whether it was really a village expense.
“How many villagers use the bulk water?” asked Mayor Helton.
“Under 10 per cent I would say. I’ve never seen anybody that lives in the actual village accessing that [bulk water],” commented Coun. Melissa Wilton.
“We are here as a council to look at things like that [expenses] and make decisions and the status quo is not necessarily the status quo,” stated Helton.
“I’m not here to be a disturber, I’m here to look at things that have been going on for a long time that perhaps needs a spotlight to see if they can’t be changed a little bit.”
“He [Riep] is here trying to help the village and that water plant needs a quarter-million dollars of work,” stated CAO Plachner “and he is doing it piece by piece because he knows the village can’t afford to do a whole big bunch all at once.”
Glen Riep, of Pier Enterprises, Certified Operator of the village water plant had presented council with a quote from JC Industries to replace the coin-operated receptacles at the bulk water station with a PIN system as the loader has experienced interruptions in service and is most likely in need of updating.
Council as well was looking for a second quote as that is a policy in effect for the village projects.
Riep had also asked council to include a budget item of $12,000 for cleaning of the reservoirs.
“I’m going to do this budget and estimate it how I think it should be done,” stated CAO Plachner. “I will set the mill rate and that’s going to be done.”
Now that council has the actuals for operational expenses they are still looking for accurate cost breakdowns and two quotes for projects.
“Did we not learn very fast with the estimate with the water pump,” asked Helton. “There was a miscommunication simply because somebody was throwing out a figure and said there,” with no itemized project costs.
We need to work hard at it and make real special effort so that we don’t run into those kinds of situations again,” concluded Mayor Helton.
The meeting was reported on from a recording due to the coronavirus.