Mayor Howard Helton called a special meeting to check progress on several projects proposed for the village on Wed. May 8.
When questioned by Coun. Bob Graham for the purpose of the meeting and the addition of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) ‘retirement package’, Mayor Howard Helton answered both by providing copies of regulations for special meetings from the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the Villages’ Procedural Policy which sets out the parameters for special council meetings.
“Sounds like your wasting village money on meetings,” said Graham.
“This doesn’t make much sense, all [of] these are minor issues,” said Graham referring to the items listed on the agenda. Seems like it could be called on frivolous things that could be done at a regular meeting. What’s the urgency?”
“It’s an information gathering because there are some of these things that we need to know where we are going,” responded Helton.
Fire pump engine
At the most recent council meeting held in April, Morrin council passed a motion to have the fire pump engine provided by Collicutt Energy ordered.
Once a motion is passed, it is the responsibility of the CAO to carry out council wishes as this is a requirement of the CAO position.
“Have you sent that [confirmation order] to Collicutt saying we passed it?” questioned Helton on the first item on the agenda.
“No,” said CAO Annette Plachner, “It was left in the open and I didn’t know who was supposed to order it.”
“Who would be responsible for doing it when council passed the motion to approve the expenditure?” asked Helton.
“It wasn’t directed, it was just passed to order it,” said Plachner.
“Exactly,” Helton responded.
“Okay, fine, then I will order it,” said Plachner.
Coun. Graham questioned whether the order would go through the Starland County water management.
“We passed the resolution at the last meeting,” said Helton. “We approved the purchase with Collicutt. There was nothing there that involved Starland [County].
“Here we are talking about this again” stated Helton. “If we had waited for next meeting, that’s a whole ‘nother week away, we’re having this same conversation then, when we shouldn’t have had this conversation at all because we had this conversation a month ago at the meeting where we passed the resolution to authorize the CAO to go ahead with the confirmation to Collicutt because we’re buying this [pump].”
“Have you read the contract?” Helton asked CAO Plachner.
“Yes, I have,” said Plachner, “and I will submit it but remember I was on sick leave . . . for eight days.”
“That underscores my reason for this meeting,” replied Helton. “It would have only taken a letter after the last meeting or even a phone call after the last meeting to notify them [Collicutt] that we had ratified it in our meeting.”
The CAO updated council regarding the street repair and paving quotes stating “MPE [Engineering] have been notified and they are working on the quotes”.
Mayor Helton asked if public works foreman Dave Benci has a list of all the areas that council would like to see repaired and paved and for that list to be made available to council at their next meeting.
Progress on Public Works storage yard
CAO Plachner confirmed that the measuring for the fence has been done but has yet to receive a quote for the work.
“So do we have an idea of what they came up with?” asked Helton. Has he drawn us a plan for us to look at for dimensions and layout?”
“So we are getting quotes to help plan for budget and things like that?” asked Coun. Graham, “Where’s the money coming from?”
“Yes, that’s why I’d like to have that so we know what we’ve got. That’s what we want these dollar values for,” replied Helton.
“Is there not a building on that property?” asked Graham.
“No, it’s the one way at the end of Railway Avenue South,” answered Coun. M’Liss Edwards.
“We had the drawing, measurements and everything at the last meeting and we discussed all that,” said Helton.
“When I looked at it [the drawing], I was assuming it was over there [referencing the Olympic property on Main Street].”
“It’s at the south end of Railway Ave. There’s a piece there that’s odd-shaped,” added Edwards.
“So maybe it’s not so frivolous than to have this meeting and all get on the same page,” commented Helton.
Mayor Helton asked about the contractor’s progress and if they [council] will be able to have a plot plan to see what they have come up with.
“I don’t have it here. When I get it. Kerry has it,” stated CAO Plachner. “He should have it here soon,” said Edwards. “I’ll put a bug in his ear.”
CAO Plachner confirmed that a landscaper has been contacted to give a quote and ideas for the ‘green space’ but have not yet had a look at it.
Helton asked for clarification from CAO Plachner regarding the wishes of council to confirm what the plan was.
The CAO stated landscaping with grass with a future to include trees, confirming she had shown the landscaper the drawing of the project that was presented at the April 17 meeting.
The green space has been designated for the space on Main Street currently being taken up with the recycle bins.
Council is hoping to get input from the community on what they would like to see in the green space.
CAO Plachner confirmed that MPE Engineering had been out to survey the water drainage problem and was hoping to have it by May 15 for the regular meeting.
Mayor Helton and Coun. Edwards confirmed they had both signed the Code of Conduct and Ethics Statement that is to be signed by all councillors and employees and posted for the public as per the clause in the Code.
Coun. Graham and CAO Plachner confirmed they had not yet signed their statements.
“They are to be signed and posted in the office,” said Helton. “That’s one of the clauses in the policy so the public can be assured we’ve signed off on the Code of Conduct.”
“That statement that you sign is the one that we post?” said Helton.
No response was heard following Mayor Helton’s question, “So that will be forthcoming then?”
Council went into a 35 minute closed session on a personnel item.