Alix resident says if village ignores sinkhole concern, they might see her in court

Written by Stu Salkeld

Alix village council heard several complaints from a local resident including that she feels village staff are either ignoring or contributing to a possible sinkhole problem that could threaten her home. 

The resident’s submissions were discussed at the Feb. 2 regular meeting of council.

Resident Sharon Faszer’s signed Jan. 27 letter was presented to councillors as part of the correspondence section of the agenda. 

“Storm drain management in Village of Alix,” began Faszer’s letter. “They are not being properly maintained by Village of Alix Public Works department. 

“You have all the ingredients for the creation of a sinkhole on Lake Street. 

“I see and feel in my home (cracks in my foundation, ceiling etc.) [on] Lake Street, my land and the portion of road in front of my home and on the street. 

“This is a serious matter and if you choose to ignore, it could result in legal proceedings,” added Faszer.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White spoke to the Public Works department regarding storm drains and stated the village keeps an eye on the weather and when it starts warming up staff patrol regularly to make sure the drains are operating properly; White noted there is a spot on the north side of the village which causes issues in the spring but it’s estimated to cost just under $1 million to fix.

Mayor Rob Fehr noted it’s illegal to disturb nesting areas around the lake and he hasn’t seen any nesting areas disturbed which suggests the shoreline is fine. 

Coun. Janice Besuijen stated you would think if the Alberta Environment staff noticed a shoreline issue they would have notified the village.

Faszer noted her second concern was black knot. “Black knot is rampant on the Alix Nature Trail,” stated the letter. “What are you going to do about it?” 

Mayor Rob Fehr responded there may not be much the village could do about the arboreal malady. 

“It’s an issue that’s everywhere across this province,” said Fehr, who noted trees in his yard also have it.

Faszer continued: “The maintenance of roads and village buildings is not acceptable. Please go to the Alix Lake concession building. I was down last week and the entire building was surrounded with water due to not having proper drainage (down spouts) etc. 

“There was so much melt that the water was up to and past bottom of doors which means it’s probably a little wet inside. 

“When did Public Works last check this village owned property? What are you going to do about this serious concern and problem?”

Councillors didn’t comment specifically on this concern.

Lastly, Faszer mentioned a parking lot located along Highway 12. “The parking lot at the strip mall is embarrassing,” stated Faszer. 

“Over the years thousands of dollars have been spent on bandage solutions. What are you going to do about this? It is not a good welcome to Alix!”

When asked by Coun. Gilliat who owns this parking lot, White answered part of it is village property, part of it is privately owned.

Councillors decided to accept Faszer’s submissions for information.

 

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.