Amount paying to lease holder questioned

The Village of Alix, by moving $56,000 in the books from a line item from capital to financing, saves the village $60,000 in penalty fees.
In January Alix council refinanced Railway House (the closed Moonwalkers Activity Centre) for about $1.4 million, which reduced the village’s annual payments from $138,789 to only $72,000 a year. The means the village won’t have to pay a $60,000 early lease buyout penalty fee to the lease holder of the building after council unanimously voted in favour of re-designating the remaining $56,000 in its lease agreement from capital to finance in its 2018 budget.
“Instead of using it as a capital portion it’s a payment of financing and pays down some of the debt,” Alix’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White told council during its regular meeting Feb. 21. “It’s just a wording choice that makes it an eligible expense.”
Alix Coun. Vicki Soltermann asked if council was “ever going to see the actual figure,” how much they are giving to the lease holder of Moonwalkers.
CAO White said staff submitted the paper work to Alberta Capital Finance on Feb. 14 – 15 and the $1.4 million refinancing request was a “guesstimate to ensure we have enough.”
She added staff is still clarifying questions that Alberta Capital Finance has arising from the application.
The borrowing bylaw was a result of an August 2017 Ministerial Order from Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs after completing an inspection of the village at the request of local residents who had submitted two petitions to the provincial government.
The minister directed the village to have a qualified accounting firm complete a review of the Moonwalkers lease and recalculate the village’s 2016 total debt and debt service under the province’s debt limit regulation.

Chickens can now roost
Alix residents, if approved, can have up to four urban chickens in their yard after Alix council gave its urban chicken bylaw third and final reading during council’s regular meeting Feb. 2.
The coops can’t be larger than 10 metres squared in floor area and no higher than 2.4 metres.
There will be an annual license fee and the license isn’t transferable from one person to another. A license, however, is transferable from one property to another if approved.

Lisa Joy
ECA Review

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