Village of Morrin says Starland County fire agreement shouldn’t include other municipalities

Written by Stu Salkeld

The Village of Morrin council doesn’t want other municipalities to be part of the fire agreement it signs with Starland County. The discussion was held at the Feb. 15 regular meeting of council.

Councillors reviewed the Starland regional fire agreement and also discussed the results of a meeting councillors recently attended regarding the topic.

Councillors agreed on several changes they’d like made to the agreement, including that fire chiefs should be voting members, the committee should meet more often than once a year and that the agreement should only be between Morrin and Starland County, with other municipalities signing their own agreements.

Councillors agreed to send a letter to Starland County explaining these changes.

Spruce up the village

Councillors heard a report on materials needed for new wooden flower pots intended for this summer’s homecoming.

CAO Annette Plachner read a quote she received for supplies, stating materials for eight flower pots would be almost $1,000. Mayor Chris Hall stated he wasn’t surprised.

The CAO stated the materials would include pressure treated wood to ensure the flower pots last longer.

Councillors discussed “barrel type” flower pots and noted they felt such pots could cost at least $88 each or more. Mayor Hall noted he volunteered to construct the wooden flower pots for free if the village pays for materials.

The CAO stated village staff have also arranged for very good quality top soil to be brought in.

Councillors unanimously passed a resolution to pay up to $1,000 for materials for wooden homecoming flower pots.

Website updates

Councillors discussed items they felt were missing from the Village of Morrin website, with Coun. Lorraine MacArthur stating she will help out by contacting the website handler.

Mayor Hall asked the CAO to ensure Morrin’s municipal website is updated regularly.

Plachner responded that the majority of villages in Alberta don’t have websites.

The mayor stated, “…but we’re a progressive village.” Hall stated he felt the website should be as current as possible so people interested in moving to Morrin can see what the village has to offer.

Plachner stated she usually sends files such as council agendas and minutes to the website hander for upload, but sometimes she gets busy and doesn’t have time to send the files.

During discussion councillors listed files missing from the website including the 2022 organizational meeting minutes along with minutes of other regular council meetings.

Mayor Hall noted he’d also like to see information on the village’s website about upcoming events in the community, such as the spring show and shine and this summer’s homecoming, or attractions such as the sod house museum but MacArthur responded the CAO is only responsible for placing village files on the website and other items, such as upcoming events, should be handled by the groups organizing them.

MacArthur volunteered to help out by contacting the website handler to provide files.

Rate hike

Councillors unanimously passed a resolution to increase the village’s rate for residential water bills by $3, increasing the charge from $68 to $71.

Fireworks request

Councillors will ask to see documentation from a homecoming committee after a request was made for the village to pay between $2,500 and $5,000 more for fireworks.

“They want more money,” said Mayor Hall, referring to the group planning fireworks for this summer’s Morrin homecoming.

Coun. M’Liss Edwards stated she would like to see a letter or minutes from that committee’s meeting with a resolution that shows what they’re asking for. Councillors unanimously agreed.

Financial report

CAO Plachner reported to council there was no financial report for the meeting as she can’t close off 2022 until the upcoming audit is completed.

Public Works report

Public Works foreman Dave Benci gave his regular report and noted he recently completed the Alberta Environment annual report, adding it involved a lot of paperwork. Benci stated that only the lagoon is left to be done.

He further stated some projects had been put on hold as he completed the important environment reports plus some required certification.

The foreman stated that water meters will be installed in the new school currently under construction along with both the arena and the community centre. Benci stated some investigation needs to be done, including the size of the water lines.

The foreman informed council he’s currently renewing an important water plant course with other courses, including water hydraulics, also on the schedule.

CAO Plachner noted the Village of Morrin has applied for funding to hire a summer student to help Benci out but hasn’t heard anything yet. Plachner noted the village has been turned down several years in a row for the grant.

Councillors accepted Benci’s report as information.

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.