Morrin council planning for utilities, paving on 2nd Ave. South

Written by Stu Salkeld

The Village of Morrin official administrator (OA) began laying the groundwork for major construction work addressing 2nd Ave. South’s infrastructure issue. The decision was made at the May 19 regular meeting of council.

Harold Johnsrude stated that MPE Engineering had noted in a previous report that 2nd Ave. South should be next in line for serious construction and utility work, including pavement and deep utilities.

Johnsrude, noting that engineering costs for the south project were estimated at $40,000, approved a motion that MPE be directed to begin developing a proposal for construction work on 2nd Ave. South.

Johnsrude also reported that he’d been in contact with Municipal Affairs over some paving work the village had done in 2019, specifically to find out if the work had been eligible for Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding. 

As it turns out, it was eligible, and Municipal Affairs will allow Morrin to make a retroactive application. 

Johnsrude approved a motion for the village to apply for MSI funding for the 2019 paving work.

Grant switch

Johnsrude tweaked a grant from the provincial government. He noted that an MSI grant had been approved from the provincial government for a Main Street wastewater project in Morrin.

Previously, it was stated at Morrin council that an MPE Engineering reported listed 2nd Ave. North as the top priority for infrastructure work in the village. 

Johnsrude stated he spoke to Municipal Affairs in Edmonton about the situation and was therefore prepared to remove the Main Street work from the grant and instead assign it to 2nd Ave. North. That was approved.

Long-distance relationship

Johnsrude stated the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way he would normally act as Morrin’s OA. Since being assigned by Municipal Affairs to act as the village’s council, Johnsrude stated he hasn’t spent much time in Morrin because of COVID, but he speaks to village staff about once a week.

The OA said the really negative aspect of the pandemic is he can’t get to know the village the way he would like, such as meeting with residents, and he wishes it was a different case.

Johnsrude stated that as restrictions are lifted, he hopes to visit Morrin more often.

Emergency fire pump

Johnsrude directed CAO Annette Plachner to apply for an MSI grant for a new fire emergency pump. It was stated the project is priced around $151,000 and Johnsrude stated he wanted to see the tender packages out by June. He noted MPE Engineering is handling this on behalf of the village.

Johnsrude passed motions that directed Plachner to apply for the grant and MPE move ahead with the tender process.

Rates and fees bylaw

CAO Plachner presented the updated proposed 2021 Rates and Fees Bylaw and noted there were a few price increases in services which the village provides. She stated that, for example, assessment and development fees will go up.

As reported in a previous edition of the ECA Review, OA Johnsrude also approved a 10 per cent increase to Morrin utility fees, and pointed out during the meeting the village’s utility rates were not high enough to cover the costs of the department. 

Johnsrude passed all readings of the bylaw to bring it into effect.

Public Works report

Public Works Foreman Dave Benci submitted his regular report to council, noting that fire hydrant testing has been postponed and no date has been set for the work yet.

Benci stated sewer repairs for 2nd Ave. North were also postponed and they were rescheduled to begin on Tues. May 25.

The department also booked a camera to examine the situation under Main Street, as it was reported at a previous meeting that there is a utility blockage causing some issues. Benci stated the camera work is scheduled to be done June 10.

Benci stated it may be necessary to find a different contractor to perform repairs on the reservoir. He noted he has had no luck trying to contact the current contractors.

He also stated the manhole at the bulk water plant needs to be looked at more closely. Benci told the OA that when the manhole was opened there was water visible.

Johnsrude accepted Benci’s report for information.


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.