Alix against marijuana grow ops in village

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Alix doesn’t want marijuana grow operations in its village after the federal government legalizes the drug.
Alix Mayor Arlene Nelson told council, during its regular meeting June 7, that they need to put bylaws in place now before marijuana is legalized.
“We need to know what people want,” she said, adding that the residents she has heard from so far overwhelmingly don’t want grow operations in the village.
“It is a good tax revenue source but with it comes problems.”
Coun. Rob Fehr suggested council gather more information before drafting bylaws.
“We can’t do a bylaw until we get all the facts.”
Coun. Curt Pederson suggested Alix council defer their decision and that Mayor Nelson could bring the issue up at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) Mayor’s Caucus in mid-June.
Coun. Fehr agreed. “A lot of questions need to be answered and information shared.”
Mayor Nelson said that the federal government hasn’t provided much information or guidance, adding, “they are not forthcoming.”
AUMA is assessing the potential health and safety implications of the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
“The speed at which government intends to move ahead puts municipalities at risk in preventing adverse impacts in our communities,” said AUMA President Lisa Holmes in a prepared statement. “Many of the health and safety impacts are complex and require collaboration between all three levels of government and time to address.”
According to the AUMA, the health and safety issues incudes the production, distribution and consumption of marijuana. Of concern is sufficient fire and building codes to regulate the growth of marijuana in residential properties. Also of concern is commercial producers paying property taxes.
Alix council tabled the item until they can gather more information.
Council briefs
Council approved residents’ request to remove a small section of older sidewalk on Lake Street. The removal is contingent on liability.
Council approved putting some properties in tax arrears up for public auction. The auction will be on Sept. 15.
Coun. Gordon Christensen, in his report to council, gave an update on the Parkland Regional Library (PRL) board.
“A very interesting presentation was given by Dwight Nagel on duties of a council member as to his or her duties on a library board, and I think this presentation should e part of the course on duties of an elected official, after each election to all elected officials newly elected or previously elected councilors.”
Coun. Christensen said that PRL received a $2.4 million grant to either upgrade its existing building in Lacombe or build a new one.

Lisa Joy
ECA Review reporter

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