Alix council takes hard look at staffing levels

Village of Alix council is reviewing its staffing levels in public works and the recreation department saying their numbers are high.
“In comparison to other communities our size, when you start looking at staffing levels, we are high,” said Deputy Mayor Rob Fehr, who ran the April 27 special meeting. Mayor Arlene Nelson was absent.
“You want to provide services but at the same time you have to look at the big picture and there are some areas we might have to scale back.
“In light of our economic pictures, not just in village of Alix but across Canada, that’s something we need to look at and be a little more realistic.
“Based on what’s happening with Moonwalkers closing we have to be aware of that and be frugal where we can.”
Coun. Curt Peterson concurred saying council could streamline.
Tanya Meston, Director of Corporate Services for the village, asked council if there were any particular items that council was considering cutting back.
Deputy Mayor Fehr said there were no specific items but the fact that they were over staffed in recreation and public works “really jumped out.”
Likewise, Coun. Jody Windmann agreed.
“That really jumped out to me, the bumper of people we have working in public works,” she said adding that the village needs to look at what they are spending on recreation.
Deputy Mayor Fehr said the village needs to look at how much they utilize their public works staff and how much they use outside contractors.
Meston told council that public works has been doing a “big role in doing more that we used to contract out.”
Deputy Mayor Fehr suggested council look at the cost of contracting some services out and compare that to paying staff.
“That’s stuff we need to look at a little more carefully, if there is an area where we can get some cost savings, we need to look at that.”
Alix Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Troy Jenkins said many of the contracts were put in place “awhile back” adding “they are costly contracts and still in effect now.”
Deputy Mayor Fehr said the village also needs to review funding levels for FCSS.
He said they’re offering many services for everyone from infant to seniors.
“What they offer is pretty lean in a number of areas. They try to deliver those services and there is a cost with that. As a village this is something we should look at in our budget, enhance some of those programs and add to them if anything.”

Campground contract awarded
The Village of Alix awarded its campground contract during a special meeting they called and when they announced who received the contract, some of the dozen residents in the council chambers voiced objection and one woman stormed out.
At the special meeting on April 27, the contract was awarded to Brandt and Cathy Perry of Alix.
CAO Jenkins told council the village received five tenders in total for the campground contract. The top two tenders were from Wayne and June Brown, who scored 236 points on their scale, and Brandt and Cathy Perry who scored 260 points.
CAO Jenkins said the committee looked at experience at  running a campground, the individuals as community ambassadors, living in the local area and the cost.
“It’s always a big issue when spending taxpayers’ dollars,” he said.
CAO Jenkins said the tender amounts were: $4,250 per month; $4,200 per month; $3,000 per month and; $2,800 per month.
He didn’t, however, name who the other two tenders were from nor say how much the winning tender was.
On April 28, the Village of Alix administration declined to give the ECA Review the information for all of the tenders when requested, as well as the other two agenda items from the special meeting.

In-camera issue
Council went in-camera to discuss a land issue, specifically Lot 23. Coun. Curt Peterson removed himself from council chambers for both the discussion and voting on the issue afterwards because of a conflict of interest.
After they came out of in-camera, and although they didn’t identify Lot 23 or the details, they voted in favour to accept the “lease agreement as presented.”

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