Alix village council grants $14k in FCSS funds to village group

Written by Stu Salkeld

Alix village council granted over $14,000 in Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) funding to a village social support group. The decision was made at the July 6 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White presented councillors with a funding request from the Alix and Area Community Resource Centre, and it looked like the agency was requesting all of the funds Alix had left in the 2022 FCSS account.

White noted the account started off earlier this year at $29,600, with $14,802 left as of the council meeting.

The CAO stated FCSS funding comes from the provincial government and must be spent on preventative social services that are within the FCSS mandate and the agreement with the province.

She pointed out most of the resource centre’s programs are eligible for FCSS funding.

The resource centre’s request, submitted by President Melody McBride and Treasurer Trish Verveda, noted the group wants to give local rural residents the same access to programs that urban residents enjoy.

Their application listed the following areas of need that the resource centre aims to address: prevention of isolation, poverty reduction, early childhood, development of safe communities and other areas of focus.

The resource centre added that their programs are available to the entire community.

Their website noted July programs such as summer camps, senior fun and swimming lessons.

During discussion Coun. Tim Besuijen suggested in the future the village set aside some FCSS funds in case really good ideas come forward later in the year.

Councillors unanimously approved the resource centre’s request.

Human resources
Councillors continued to examine and revise their personnel policy.
The CAO noted a suggestion was recently made by council to change the wording related to physicians examining staff, and clarified it to ensure it’s defined as a physician licensed to practice medicine in Alberta.

Councillors discussed the hiring and termination of staff and White stated some advice she was given about terminations didn’t sit well with her.

The CAO related she didn’t like the idea of giving newly hired employees several pages of termination rules, as she felt it didn’t fit with the Village of Alix’ culture.

Another issue discussed was whether staff can be suspended without pay; Coun. Ed Cole stated he felt such a measure was not legally permitted any more.

Councillors also discussed the issue of staff with medical needs, particularly prescribed medication, and the possibility some staff may be operating equipment.

Councillors accepted the report as information and will continue to review the policy at a future meeting.

Re-entry plan
White submitted to councillors the village’s emergency re-entry plan and councillors were very happy with the plan.

“I liked it,” said Mayor Rob Fehr.

Coun. Tim Besuijen added, “It’s very thorough.” He asked the CAO if the village can perform everything listed in the plan and White answered, “Yes.”

During discussion Fehr pointed out there were details in the plan he would never have thought of, such as inspecting trees to make sure they’re safe before citizens return.

Councillors unanimously approved the plan.

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.