Some roads on the north side of the Village of Alix will be getting a conversion to chip seal heard councillors at their regular meeting May 20.
During the regular report of Chief Administrative Officer Michelle White, councillors heard that several roads north of Hwy. #12 will be getting conversion from SB90 road dust suppression to chip seal, starting on Mon. May 25 and continuing until mid-June.
White noted that town staff would deliver notices door to door in the area notifying residents that certain streets won’t be available for use until the work is completed.
An inventory of damaged sidewalks has also been completed, but a priority list remains to be done.
The CAO noted some cost savings may be found if certain damaged sidewalks that also are rarely used are simply removed.
Mayor Rob Fehr reported on the recent central Alberta mayor’s caucus April 29 conference call, intended to update what each community is doing to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
Several mayors noted they were waiting for the province to clarify pandemic rules regarding a number of issues, including how to handle yard sales and farmers markets, re-opening of golf courses and boat launch regulations to name a few.
Fehr noted the province’s re-launch and loosening of some pandemic measures has started.
The subject of prisoner release from penitentiaries was discussed as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Coun. Ed Cole noted that a large number of inmates at the Bowden facility are convicted sex offenders.
Fehr stated members of the caucus are still waiting for more information about this issue and he predicted a lot of people are not in favour of such a release.
Councillors discussed an idea to pay tribute to local students graduating this spring.
The local school council approached the village and asked permission to mount posters showing photos of the grads to be placed on public property.
Graduation ceremonies across the country have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
White stated the signs will be going up for a two-week period in June on municipal property to recognize the graduating students.
Councillors also discussed problems like possible vandalism to the signs.
Using less water
While examining the year to date financial report, councillors discussed the fact the village had used substantially less water than predicted.
White stated this was related to COVID-19 measures, such as closure of facilities and encouraging people to stay home.
Coun. Barb Gilliat, an Alix business owner, stated her business’ water bill was only about a third of what it normally is.
Coun. Cole reported on a recent FCSS meeting he attended, and stated the board was notified village council planned to withhold September funding.
Discussed at a previous council meeting, this decision was based on the fact coronavirus measures have cancelled many FCSS programs, while funding was still provided for them.
Cole reported the board understood and seemed supportive of the decision.
The board also heard about a possible “needs assessment” review.
White noted that the village and FCSS board have an agreement to periodically perform such an assessment to ensure programs are being offered that respond to the community’s needs.
A consultant is typically hired to handle this.
During her regular report, CAO White reported the village is optimistic some recreation department programs can still run this summer after coronavirus measures required some cancellations.
White stated staff are looking at the end of June after school is officially completed for the year as a possible time to start some programs.
White also reported the village office will soon re-open to the public, but with some social distancing measures in place.
As she noted the village office is a smaller building, there may be a limit of one person at a time allowed in, while others will have to wait outside.
Review board agreement
Councillors approved as amended the City of Red Deer Regional Assessment Review Board Amending Agreement.
White explained the agreement required some updating due to changes in provincial legislation.
The review board provides assessment review services as required by the village.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter