Morrin council ponders hiring bylaw officer

The Village of Morrin council discussed the pros and cons of hiring a bylaw officer for the municipality. The issue was discussed at the April 17 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Annette Plachner reported to councillors she contacted one bylaw enforcement contractor, Starland Enforcement Services, who quoted $5,500 per year and was informed the contractor doesn’t handle dog complaints, which they advised be forwarded to the RCMP.

Readers should note at a previous council meeting councillors heard a complaint from a Morrin resident who requested something be done about aggressive dogs running at large in the village; councillors passed a resolution that a bylaw officer be hired as soon as possible.

Plachner explained the contractor handles mostly traffic issues and proposed a three year contract. Coun. Lorraine MacArthur suggested Morrin negotiate with the contractor for a one year contract to see if the service is what Morrin needs.

It was noted that bylaw services would need to be included in the 2024 budget but councillors also heard that the village keeps all revenue from tickets the bylaw officer writes.

Councillors decided to table the issue to their May meeting.

Dog control
MacArthur gave an update on the village’s dog control bylaw, which she noted is now available for the public to read on Morrin’s website. MacArthur noted a young boy was recently killed in Edmonton by aggressive dogs.

MacArthur asked how the village handles a complaint about a dangerous dog. The CAO responded, according to the bylaw, the village attempts to confirm the dog is licensed and if there are more incidents the RCMP are called.

Councillors discussed previous complaints about aggressive dogs running at large in the village, with MacArthur noting her dog was attacked by one.

Councillors passed a resolution that the village would send a letter to aggressive dog owners informing them of complaints and that dogs need to be licensed with the municipality.

Financial statement
Plachner confirmed the audited 2023 financial statement hasn’t arrived from the auditor yet, who noted the statement is “really late this year.”

She further added it seems many municipalities are getting their financial statements back late from auditors.

Plachner continued that she is currently working on the 2024 budget but can’t finish it until the audited financial statements are received.

Paving schedule
Councillors discussed 2024 paving work the village wants done by a contractor called Spectra.

Councillors noted this contractor is from Mundare, with Plachner adding it looks like paving work can’t be done in Morrin before mid-July.

The CAO stated Spectra was the only contractor that showed interest in the work; she added the other contractor who voiced interest didn’t show up for the meeting.

Councillors unanimously passed a resolution to offer the 2024 paving work in Morrin to Spectra.

Picnic tables
Mayor Chris Hall reported that he’d found a carpenter who makes picnic tables for $250 each, with Coun. M’Liss Edwards responding she thought kids at Morrin School were going to make picnic tables for the village.

Councillors noted there’s probably not enough school year left for students to make picnic tables.

During discussion councillors noted picnic table kits can be purchased in Red Deer for about $100 but require assembly.

Councillors unanimously passed a resolution to buy two picnic table kits in Red Deer for about $100 each, plus contact Morrin School to see if the students are interested in making some tables next 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.