Alix, Lacombe County ICF almost complete

Alix council gave first and second reading to the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) between the village and Lacombe County.

The document demands that communities who share common boundaries discuss various agreements they have together.

This is a mandatory document in which municipalities must have them passed by April 1, 2020 in order to comply with the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and to avoid triggering an arbitration clause.

This exercise has strengthened communication between the village and county council and staff.

At the meeting on Wed. Oct. 2., council chose to leave the final reading for the next meeting as to give residents a chance to review the document and provide input if they feel it is necessary.

Dep. Mayor Tim Besuijen also noted holding off on the document would be beneficial as they had wanted to pass the fire services agreement first.

“One reason is because people can see it and two, we do not have the fire agreement done and we said we wouldn’t sign this until that was done,” said Besuijen.

This is the first time the agreement has been revealed publicly as all prior meetings were behind closed doors.

There was also an echo of reaching transparency amongst the councillors and the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

“One thing I will speak to this bylaw about is that I understand that council has taken a really excellent move towards transparency to the residents by not rushing through any bylaws,” said and the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

“This one, in particular, has a very low effect on your residents. It’s actually just how those two levels of government interact with each other.”

Fire Services Agreement

A new version of the Fire Services Agreement with Lacombe County came about from the review of the ICF.

Council approved the agreement as presented.

This update incorporates the Fire Department Facility Joint Ownership and Use Agreement and the Fire Apparatus Use Agreement.

By consolidating three agreements into one, it will simplify the process by which the fire departments are governed and financed.

The cost sharing percentage for capital purchases was also changed from an even 50/50 split to 60 per cent funding from the county and 40 per cent from the village.

The threshold for capital items was raised to $5,000 and is now based on ‘per unit’ cost rather than aggregate costing.

The medical first response ambulance is not included in the fire services agreement in any way.

The current shared fire equipment fund will be split 50/50, meaning $40,000 in additional revenue to the village.

It will be put into fire department reserves as a rainy day fund.

Organizational meeting

At the organizational meeting held on Wed. Oct. 2, just before the regular meeting, Rob Fehr was acclaimed as Mayor.

Tim Besuijen has also taken the deputy mayor position once again.

Councillors delegated their positions on various boards as representatives and alternates with little change to the current list.

Meetings were established to stay at 6 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

BDO Financial has kept its place as the village’s auditor. The same has happened for Development Officer and FOIP Officer Tanya Meston, who, according to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White, is “enjoying her role”.

Fire Chief Darren Hiron is keeping his position as well.

No asbestos found

Tax recovery property 4705-45 Avenue is a property the village took possession of earlier this year.

According to reports, the trailer and separate garage are far from sellable.

In one of council’s August meetings, they determined two avenues they could venture depending on the presence of asbestos.

Council felt tearing the place down to create a new empty lot for sale was ideal but had concerns asbestos could be in it.

After tests were completed, the CAO was happy to announce there were no traces of asbestos in the home, therefore the trailer could be removed much quicker.

The cost to run the test was $655.24 while the disposal of the trailer and accompanying garage will be between $8,000 and $10,000.

This cost will be integrated into the 2020 budget.

CETO aerial activity

With the introduction of the Central East Transfer Out (CETO), surveys and open houses have been taking place across the region.

Between Sept. 26 and Oct. 4, Altalink was conducting aerial surveys that support their environmental field program and gives planners a chance to observe and document raptor nests, waterbird colonies, waterfowl and waterbird use to better understand the specific environmental features of the area.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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