Village of Morrin: Features encroaching on former post office removed

The red building at left is the former Morrin Post Office, lots 201 and 203 Main Street; at right is the Village of Morrin office. Two orange survey stakes mark the property line between these two parcels which is much closer to the village structure than previously thought. Just off to the left of the top stake is the flag pole socket. ECA Review/S.Salkeld
Written by Stu Salkeld

The Village of Morrin removed some municipal office features that were encroaching on a private property next door. The owner of the private property contacted the ECA Review July 4 with details.

Curt Blayney and Linda Loades, co-owners of the former post office property on Main Street Morrin, stated they realized after buying the property there were encroachment problems.

Technically lots 201 and 203 that the pair purchased in January, 2024, they acknowledged they purchased the property without inspections. Blayney stated that after examining the way fences lined up with curbs and laneways he suspected there were encroachment problems.

It turns out, noted Blayney, neither the bank nor the village office had the exact property boundaries on file so the co-owners hired Snell & Oslund Surveys to conduct property line measurements for them on both the Main Street property and their residence in Morrin. The survey revealed neighbouring encroachments on both lots.

Looking at the post office property, the Village of Morrin office is immediately to the west; it turns out the Village of Morrin property only extends a few feet to the east with most of the property actually part of the post office parcel. The village had a flag pole and flower bed on the post office property.

Blayney and Loades noted that when they approached the Village of Morrin over this issue the village didn’t appear to have information about the property lines and the co-owners stated that if they provided the village a copy of the property lines report, they expected payment. According to Blayney and Loades the village declined.

At the June 17 regular meeting of Morrin council the issue of possible encroachment was discussed; Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Annette Plachner reported she would hire a surveyor to stake out the property line.

In a phone call to the ECA Review July 5 Plachner confirmed the Village of Morrin hired a surveyor to prepare a real property report on the village office which confirmed Blayney and Loades’ stakes were correct; there was an encroachment.

Plachner noted the village’s encroaching features, the flag pole and flower bed, have been removed from Blayney and Loades’ property. Plachner pointed out the flag pole had been on that site for at least 40 years and suspected nobody knew there was an encroachment.

Blayney and Loades stated they asked any damage to their property be repaired; the CAO stated the only damage she could see was the hole where the flag pole resided and the village would have that filled in.

Blayney and Loades stated the other encroachment to the former post office building has been staked out and they’ve had talks with their residential neighbour about the other encroachment.

According to a statement from Heather Jenkins, press secretary, Office of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, encroachment is an issue to resolve between the two property owners.

“Encroachments are ultimately a property dispute between the encroacher and encroachee and are addressed by the Land Titles Act, which is maintained by the ministry of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction but of course questions should be best directed to the municipality which you’ve already done,” stated a July 5 email to the ECA Review.

According to Arc Surveys, a major surveying firm in Edmonton, encroachment can affect property in many ways. “Encroachments can lead to reduced property value, title issues, difficulty obtaining financing, disclosure requirements, prolonged sale process, limited buyer pool, legal costs, and negotiation challenges,” stated an article on Arc’s website.

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.