Alix council hears water commission budget stays same for 2022

Written by Stu Salkeld

Alix village residents will face no increased costs in 2022 related to the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission. Village council heard this report at their Dec. 1 regular meeting.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White presented councillors with the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission’s proposed 2022 operating budget, which is developed by commission staff and requires council approval. 

“The budget is first reviewed by the commission members then sent back to each municipal member for review and comment,” stated White’s memo.

She noted the per cube water charge will be dropping slightly from $3.055 to $3.049 in 2022, “…according to the proposed budget.” 

During discussion White stated the document is a “toe the line” budget with no significant changes for 2022.

Councillors also discussed two construction projects currently ongoing for the commission, water lines to the communities of Clive and Edberg. 

The CAO stated the projects are currently on budget but have gone past their completion date.

Councillors unanimously approved the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission. proposed operating budget.

More water talk

White also gave councillors an update on village water use, noting that Alix has seen higher water consumption since summer ended. 

She suspected a construction project which had been approved to use village water may have contributed but she hasn’t been able to record exactly how much was used.

Also, White reported the village suffered a water line break on Lake Street recently. It was located on the village side of the curb and after the break was repaired water usage went down.

The CAO reported the water leak was originally reported by an alert resident.

Utility bill relief

Councillors agreed to grant some relief to an Alix resident whose garden hose cracked and leaked in the cold.

The letter from the resident at 4927 49th St. stated, “I am asking for a reduction on the sewer portion of my water bill. I left my garden hose out too long and it froze up and leaked. None of the water went down the sewer. It all went on my lawn.

“From all my previous bills you can see that I rarely go over the basic minimum charges of roughly $100 per month. From this last bill you can see something went drastically wrong,” the resident added.

CAO White noted sewer consumption charges for the address in question averaged about $2.35 per month, while the October bill, when the hose leak occurred, added up to $313.20. 

White stated forgiveness of the bill is completely council’s prerogative. 

“The property owner has been very helpful and easy to deal with through this process,” stated White’s memo. “It’s never an easy day when you open your mail and find your utility bill is many hundreds of dollars higher than you expected.”

Coun. Ed Cole understood the problem. “I would have freaked out if I got a bill like that,” said Cole. 

During discussion all councillors agreed the size of the bill was alarming.

Mayor Rob Fehr stated it was fair to forgive the large sewer fee as the village has done it before. 

Councillors unanimously forgave the sewer bill through resolution.

Community patrol

As councillors read the regular report submitted by Cyberus Security Services, White pointed out between Oct. 29 and 31 Cyberus noted several suspicious vehicles hanging around Alix, and a few seemed to be making efforts to avoid the security vehicle. 

On Halloween night the security officer noted a suspicious vehicle come into the village and when Cyberus tried to get behind the vehicle to get its plate number it left the community and turned off its lights as it drove down the highway.

 

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.