Alix council wants to track visitors to its namesake lake

Alix Lake
Written by Stu Salkeld

Alix village council wants to track visitors to its namesake lake and may be using a number of different methods to do it. The decision was made at the May 3 regular meeting of council.

Coun. Tim Besuijen asked his peers to consider a request to track visitors to Alix Lake based on some comments he heard from hiking trail users.

Tim noted these hikers were from out of town and suggested it may be useful to know how many people enjoyed Alix Lake and where they hailed from, with Tim noting a sign-in book and QR code could be employed.

Mayor Rob Fehr stated part of that idea was already in the works. “The first part we already got in motion,” said Fehr, noting a cabinet to hold a comment book was already being built.

Coun. Ed Cole stated a QR code was a great idea, as it would appeal to younger people and shouldn’t be expensive to offer.

Fehr stated the cabinet hasn’t been installed yet but will be available as soon as possible, likely by the gazebo.

Coun. Janice Besuijen suggested the QR code be available at multiple locations around the lake. Tim added it would be nice to have the visitor comments displayed on the village’s website.

Councillors passed a resolution for staff to investigate methods to gather visitor input and present a report at a future meeting.

Fee increases
Councillors unanimously approved a revised fee schedule that included a few small price increases.

Development Officer Tanya Meston noted in her memo to councillors that changes to the fee bylaw included clarifying cemetery work done by the Public Works Department at different times of the year and an increase to Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) fees to cover possible advertising expenses if it’s necessary to advertise hearings.

The rates and fees bylaw also includes prices for certain services available that the village office including photocopying, NSF cheques and campground rates.

Road allowance hearing
Councillors held a public hearing which proposed re-zoning a portion of 45th Street from its road allowance status to heavy vehicle residence district.

The public hearing was held at the beginning of the council meeting and Development Officer Meston explained that the new zoning matched the property that this parcel was being merged with.

Mayor Fehr asked if there were any written submissions regarding the application and Meston responded there were none. Likewise, no members of the public showed up to the public hearing. Councillors closed the public hearing.

Meston noted the public was notified of the hearing date and location.

Library duties
Councillors unanimously ratified the naming of Cathy Perry and Brant Perry to the Alix library board, with an additional appointment of Callie Sauer as auditor.
Coun. Barb Gilliat, who chairs the library board, requested the approvals.

Stumbling block
Coun. Gilliat, while reporting on the Lacombe Foundation board meeting, noted the Bethany Group seeks a project manager to secure grant funding for the proposed lodge redevelopment. Gilliat explained the foundation faces a challenge with the project.

“The biggest stumbling block is that Parkview Manor, which is part of the proposed development, is owned by the Government of Alberta while the manor itself is owned by the Lacombe Foundation,” stated Gilliat in her report to council.

“The dual ownership makes us ineligible for many sources of funding and it has been difficult to get answers from anyone in the government.”

Skid steer
Coun. Gilliat also reported on the Feb. 22 Lacombe Regional Solid Waste Commission (LRSWC) meeting noting a much-needed skid steer vehicle has been delayed.

“LRSWC has a skid steer and a 2014 Massey Ferguson tractor used for site work,” stated Gilliat’s report.

“The tractor is up for replacement but it is recommended that a skid steer be purchased in place of a tractor.

“The tractor has limitations whereas a second skid steer would be much more flexible. Purchase could be made using our unrestricted surplus reserve. A motion was passed authorizing up to $80,000 for a skid steer.”

However, Gilliat stated the seller hasn’t even started building the vehicle yet and it appears it will be available no earlier than August.

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.