Village of Morrin approves ‘Code of Conduct’ bylaw for second time

Written by Stu Salkeld

The Village of Morrin approved its revised and updated Code of Conduct bylaw after council heard said bylaw was not properly approved at a previous council meeting. The bylaw was approved at the Mar. 17 regular meeting of council.

Official Administrator (OA) Johnsrude introduced the agenda item titled “Code of Conduct bylaw” by stating it had apparently not been approved properly at a previous council meeting. 

Bylaws require three readings to be approved and apparently this bylaw only had one resolution associated with it.

It was also noted the village’s previous Code of Conduct bylaw was mentioned in a provincial government review as being deficient and required revision.

Johnsrude noted the new Code of Conduct bylaw was written from a template from Municipal Affairs and so met all requirements. The OA passed all readings and motions needed to approve the new bylaw.

A code of conduct sets a standard for people’s behaviour and is mandatory for all municipalities in Alberta.

New campground

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Annette Plachner reported a proposal for a campground on Starland County property on the east side of the village. 

She noted this property is included in the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) agreement between the village and county and was earmarked for residential expansion.

OA Johnsrude stated the request has been talked about since February and came from the Sod House Society. The society, it was noted, was seeking village endorsement for the proposal.

The OA stated he was initially thinking of requesting a business plan for the proposal, but since the proposal lay within the IDP, it may require a lot of labour. 

Johnsrude stated he felt a better idea was to request the society attend a meeting with the village and county and discuss the proposal before large amounts of effort are spent on it.

Johnsrude stated other possible locations for the campground should also be discussed at this meeting. 

The OA passed a motion that the village offer to meet with the society and the county to discuss the proposed campground.

Grants shrinking

Johnsrude noted from provincial government correspondence that Municipal Sustainability Grant (MSI) funding may be increasing slightly in 2021, but is set to decrease significantly in 2022 and 2023.

He added that the village is eligible for $158,000 in MSI funds.

Electrical franchise

The OA also gave initial approval to the updated electrical franchise agreement, a document which sets out what portion of resident electrical bills will be paid to the municipality.

The rate will remain at 3.5 per cent and will be publicly advertised. It was noted by staff at the meeting the old agreement had already expired. 

Johnsrude passed first reading of the agreement bylaw.

Bylaw enforcement officer

Johnsrude noted he had discovered an oversight in the village’s proposed enforcement officer bylaw, which authorizes the position and sets out the officer’s duties and responsibilities.

The OA, noting this bylaw also stemmed from a previous provincial government review of the Village of Morrin, stated the proposed bylaw came from Municipal Affairs and included some incorrect wording which apparently stated council hired the bylaw officer. 

Actually, the CAO hires the bylaw officer. The mistake was corrected and Johnsrude passed all readings and motions to bring the bylaw into effect.

Netago access

CAO Plachner reported that internet service provider Netago was proposing improving fibre optic lines in the village. 

Netago stated this should double internet speeds over the current service, and the nearby community of Delia apparently already had this done and gave it rave reviews. 

Johnsrude passed a motion giving the CAO authority to execute the agreement.

Water pump assessment

OA Johnsrude asked Public Works Foreman Dave Benci about an engineer’s estimate for the 2019 assessment of the water pump work. 

Benci stated he spoke to MPE Engineering and the original assessment for rehabilitation in 2018 was requested by Starland County.

Benci also noted the assessment was approved, the fee was about $20,000 and was paid by the county. He further noted MPE Engineering is re-assessing the issue and he had no further information.

Public Works

Benci gave his regular report and began by saying work on the water plant had been approved and the contract went to Pronghorn.

He noted that this project was approved by council last year and the village received a grant for this work. Benci stated he understood the work should begin within a week or two.


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.