Cemetery Bylaw passes with few changes

The Village of Alix appears to have mitigated a possible fire threat by signing a lease agreement with Canadian Pacific Rail. ECA Review/File photo
Written by Submitted

Administration was proud to announce the cemetery bylaw did get some public engagement before final reading.

On Wed. Sept.9, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White found there were few changes made since council’s first comments.

“We did have several residents come in and pick up copies of the bylaw which was very good to see but despite the fact that so many copies of it went out, we did not receive any feedback from them regarding any concerns or proposed changes or anything like that,” said CAO White.

“No news is good news,” said Mayor Rob Fehr. “I thought that was really nice to see the public being involved in that way in something that can mean so much to people,” added CAO White.

The bylaw passed the final two readings, making the changes official.

One of the most notable changes was the implementation of a deed to keep a record of where each plot is.

It also showed the village’s desire to continue to own, operate and maintain the grounds in a sightly manner.

“The staff will be very, very happy honestly. That’s a very big step for the community in clarifying everything to do with the cemetery,” said CAO White.

Fee Schedule Bylaw

Alix’s Fee Schedule Bylaw oversees the fees, rates and charges of multiple facets within the village.

The CAO found the bylaw needed updating as the last time it was done was in 2006. Since then, it has been updated by resolution from time to time.

She discovered the schedule needed proper updating to reflect the fees in the cemetery bylaw that was just passed as well as including a fee for public work staff overtime call outs. Council passed the first two readings.

The cemetery plots were increased to 50 for a full plot and $25 for a cremation plot, the addition of a $200 rate for having the cemetery open and close during overtime hours and in the winter, increased the development permits for discretionary uses to $125 from $100, land use bylaw amendments at $300, and the addition of a development permit appeal fee of $250 where there was previously no charge.

“There is an allowance for [a development permit appeal] in our land use bylaw but there is no actual fee specified so by putting that in here, it can prove to limit nuisance complaints not that we have many of those,” said CAO White. “If somebody is just annoyed with their neighbour technically they could register an appeal for a development permit for no charge and really hold out the process.

“By putting in a development permit appeal fee, you have to actually want to do it.”

Mayor Fehr and Dep. Mayor Tim Besuijen found this to be a good change as it “is a real cost to us to do these things. It’s a lot of time and resources that are being used.”

Video surveillance policy

Council made a resolution to approve the video surveillance policy.

Before, there was no formal procedure to deal with collecting information and reviewing it.

RCMP and certain village staff are the only people allowed to access this video surveillance while the public and councillors have no access.

The policy is based closely on legislation already in place.

Nelson-Dahl Request

A special request from Arlene Nelson-Dahl was found to be a tough decision for council to make.

She submitted a letter about the new traffic bylaw and how off-highway vehicles are not allowed on most roads.

Alix has no form of public transportation and Nelson-Dahl noted she had two surgeries recently which “restricts my walking and driving for at least six weeks times two cycles. My husband’s driving is currently restricted. Walking is also restricted due to balance, stamina and surgery.”

Nelson-Dahl requested a special circumstance be granted to allow her and her husband to use their golf cart as a way of transport for errands by designating it as a motorized medical assistance device.

CAO White contacted the RCMP to help assist.

They advised that under the provincial safety act that if the couple were to have insurance, registration, and observe all rules of the road it would fall under the Off-Road Vehicle Bylaw.

Unfortunately, council turned down the request as provincial regulations deem it not allowed.

Provincial and federal laws overrule any municipal legislation.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author