Morrin village council balks at $5k request for fireworks, grants half instead

Written by Stu Salkeld

Morrin village council granted half of a request for $5,000 for fireworks which are earmarked for the community’s 100th-anniversary celebration this summer. The debate and decision were featured at the March 15 regular meeting of council.

During the council comments part of the agenda village council discussed a letter from the Morrin homecoming committee requesting $5,000 for fireworks which would be used at the event this coming August.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Annette Plachner reminded councillors the village had already granted $2,500 to the committee for fireworks. Coun. Lorraine MacArthur asked if the committee wanted the village to pay for the entire fireworks event.

Plachner responded the committee’s letter pointed out inflation is causing expenses for the event to climb, quoting the figure of $7,500 for a 10 to 12-minute fireworks show. “That’s a lot of money,” said Plachner, adding that a shorter show, about seven minutes, would cost $5,000.

Mayor Chris Hall stated he’d been told one pyrotechnic specialist could charge $1,000 per minute to set off fireworks.

It was noted the homecoming committee is in talks with the same fireworks specialist who works for the Calgary Stampede. During discussion, it was also mentioned that pyrotechnics require trained, certified handlers which may affect the event’s cost.

MacArthur stated she had mixed feelings about granting $5,000. Mayor Hall chipped in that this is for the village’s 100th anniversary, so it is a special occasion. The mayor also pointed out he sympathized with groups trying to raise funds or find sponsors because it seems everyone is tapped out or short of funds right now.

Eventually, councillors unanimously passed a resolution granting an additional $2,500 to the homecoming committee for fireworks.

Financial statement
Councillors examined the newest financial statement presented by the CAO, who noted it contained information from 2022 and 2023.

Plachner pointed out that was the case because she hadn’t received the audited financial statement yet. However, she did confirm the audit has been completed.

Falling apart?
Mayor Hall mentioned the decorative threshing machine on the edge of the village and efforts to have it removed mainly due to its appearance and condition.

Plachner reported that the threshing machine was a gift to the village very long ago and it shouldn’t be moved until the donor can be found and notified of those plans. The CAO added that the donor hasn’t yet been identified.

Coun. M’Liss Edwards noted the machine is a long-time resident of Morrin. “Been there as long as I can remember,” said Edwards.

Mayor Hall stated the threshing machine can’t be repaired because it’s falling apart. He said it would be nice to see something new in that display spot. Councillors agreed efforts would continue to find the threshing machine’s original donors.

Public Works report
Councillors heard a brief public works report provided by Plachner. She noted plans to upgrade the garbage truck proceeded, and the truck was taken to Lethbridge. The truck needs a special accessory that will allow it to pick up garbage at the school, it was reported.

However, while the truck was there the village was also notified the truck requires hydraulic work that’s estimated to cost $3,000. Plachner stated the truck in question has been very reliable and hasn’t required any work in 15 years.

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.