Open to taking over Munson cemetery

Written by Terri Huxley

The Village of Munson sent in a request to the county asking if Starland would be interested in acquiring control of the Munson Cemetery located along Highway 56.

Lyle Cawiezel of the Village of Munson sent in an email on Fri. April 8 sharing they are the only cemetery not owned or taken care of in the county.

If the county chose to take over, he felt it would provide continuity throughout.
“Also we are not capable of doing full burials so the county currently facilitates this for us,” said Cawiezel.

Plots are $100 each which aligns with the county’s fees.
Council, at the regular meeting on Wed. April 13, felt the village should transfer ownership of the land to the county and have them purchase a columbarium like the one they did for Rumsey.

Council, after discussion, agreed to consider taking over the cemetery if the village agrees to purchase the columbarium.
No motion was made at this time.

Financial statements
Jeff Faupel of Ascend LLP Chartered Professional Accountants attended the meeting virtually to share his findings on the county’s 2021 audit and financial statements.

The audit team was at the county office for a full three days.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Shirley Bremer shared in her report that “We recognized some gains in our records, mainly due to adjustments (reductions) made for the liability costs booked for reclamation of our gravel pits and from a better tax collection rate from the oil and gas sectors than was originally suspected.

“We still have those four delinquent companies, owing $2.032M, but the lawyers are working with two of them to get payment plans in place.
“All in all, we did recognize a surplus and are recommending that this surplus be moved to a Capital General Contingency Fund, pending the establishment of our new Reserve Policies.

“We anticipate updating and/or reorganizing the funds in reserves to “ear-tag” them for future capital projects/purchases. At that time, we can then move them into more specific reserves, as council so decides.”

Council chose to approve the financial statements as presented by Faupel following his walk-through of the material as well as a second motion to transfer the $2.6M in surplus funds into the Restricted Capital Contingency Reserve to be divided out later as projects surface.

“It was a clean audit and there were no real issues that were needed to be brought forward,” said Faupel.

Fire Dept. mugs
The Morrin Fire Department recently celebrated its 100th anniversary of service in the community.

It was requested that the county purchase 25 good quality travel mugs with engraved names of the members in celebration of this milestone as a thank-you.

Council enquired if they wanted anything else for this special time. The chief has been in contact with county staff where a barbecue get-together was suggested.

The Village of Morrin also supported the department by holding a catered dinner for members as well.

Council felt this was appropriate and could be done at the volunteer appreciation barbecue already scheduled for this summer.

The panel agreed to purchase the personalized travel mugs for each current member of the department and have them recognized at the annual barbecue.

Pandemic Policy Review 
An original motion was carried in mid January to make adjustments to the sickness policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic which encouraged employees to stay home if they found they became ill or displayed symptoms while using sick days.

This policy was slated to be reviewed in March but was revisited in April for council to discuss.

Council agreed to extend this policy adjustment to the end of June when it will be re-evaluated at that time.

Terri Huxley
ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.