At Town Council
At Town Council
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 06:00 am
Garden powers up
Morinville’s community garden will get a power-up this week thanks to a grant from a power line company.
FortisAlberta announced this week that it would give $3,000 to the Town of Morinville to help its Centennial Community Garden project.
The grant is part of the company’s community naturalization program, which just started this year, said Fortis spokesperson Kevin Haslbeck.
“We’re looking for opportunities to donate money in communities that have programs going where they’re doing something for the environment,” Haslbeck said.
Four such grants will be awarded this year.
The grant will go towards improving Morinville’s latest community garden, said garden committee chair spokesperson Valerie Loseth. Located at 104 Street and 99 Avenue, the garden has been very successful, growing some 200 pounds of food for the town’s food bank. The group is planning a thank-you dinner for the community later this month that will feature food from the garden.
Some of this grant money will go towards signage and promotion to better inform locals about how the garden works, Loseth said.
“A lot of people think that community garden means community food,” she said.
While the garden does grow food for the food bank, most of its plots are rented and for private use. Some of those renters have been frustrated to find locals helping themselves to the contents of their plots.
The garden group also plans to add benches, fruit trees and a fire pit to the garden with the grant, Loseth said.
The grant will be presented to town officials at the garden this Thursday at 3 p.m. Call Haslbeck at 403-514-4609 for details.
Councillors earn degrees
Two town councillors got a bit better at their jobs last week after graduating from a school for elected officials.
Couns. Lisa Holmes and David Pattison received their graduation certificates for the Elected Officials Education Program last week at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association president’s dinner. The program, established in 2008, is meant to teach elected officials how to run a government.
Although 600 people have taken this program, just 33 have put in the time and effort needed to graduate, said Jacqueline Biollo, a councillor with the Town of Beaumont and one of the program’s champions.
Holmes and Pattison both completed more courses than necessary and did so within a single term in office.
“It shows great commitment from your elected officials,” Biollo said.
Holmes said she and Pattison finished their coursework in January.
“The neat thing about it is that I’m the 23rd elected official to complete the program. Coun. (Ben) Van De Walle, I believe, was number two.”
Van De Walle championed the program, she noted, and encouraged her to get involved in it.
This program gives you information on finance and governance that councillors need to do their jobs well, Holmes said.
“The education you need to have is crazy. Someone described it as trying to capture Niagara Falls in a teacup,” she said.
Pattison estimated that he put about 100 hours into the program, which he saw as an extension of his commitment to lifelong learning.
“This should be either required or strongly recommended for elected officials,” he said.
The program is also now open to people who are thinking about running for office, Holmes noted.
“If you’re serious about running for council and want to get more information, it’s a great place to start.”
Details on the program can be found at eoep.ca.