Alix council approves changes to ‘gator’ park including new wifi

Written by Stu Salkeld

Alix Gator’s home at the north end of the village’s Main Street will be more welcoming than ever, as council approved changes to the area that will include free wifi. The changes were approved at the March 16 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White reported to council that Gator Park, featuring the statue of the town mascot Alix Gator, could be upgraded. 

She reported original plans for a wifi park in town were stalled when the village-owned lot intended for the park was sold.

But an alternative was found. White explained Gator Park has been a bit of an issue for the village’s public works staff, as the way it’s laid out creates maintenance problems, and the park itself is considered underutilized.

The village has been approved for Canada Community Revitalization (CCR) grant that will cover 75 per cent of the estimated $125,000 cost, but White stated in her report the village would have to pay about $30,000 for its share, “…so I recommend council makes a resolution to add $30,000 of 2021 surplus funds to the Parks/Playground reserve.”

White stated the improvements will help people who have mobility issues, offer free wife, encourage people to visit Main Street, “not to mention it would be nice to give Alix Gator a few ‘home renos’ to be proud of,” added the CAO.

Councillors passed a resolution to sign the CCR agreement and accept the terms of the grant.

Quilt’s home

CAO White stated councillors passed a resolution approving the transfer of the “COVID quilt” to the Alix Wagon Wheel Museum. 

“The village initiated a COVID quilt project in 2020,” stated White’s report. “Interested residents picked up a kit from the office and were invited to make one square of a quilt that showed what the pandemic meant to them.”

White noted the quilt has been in the village office, but with the pandemic apparently winding down the councillors had options: continue displaying it, donate it to the museum for historical value or pack it away in storage. 

White recommended the museum route as the pandemic has historical significance for the village. The councillors agreed.

Heritage Park

Councillors approved a request from the Alix Mirror Wellness Supports who noted a lack of outdoor space in the village for outdoor activities, socializing and events. 

The group noted Heritage Park is a nice spot in the village that could benefit from more amenities such as park benches and picnic tables.

White stated councillors discussed the group’s proposal and agreed the park in question is under utilized but wanted to ensure all stakeholders, including the village staff who would care for it, are included in the process.

Councillors approved the group’s request but will collaborate with village staff before any work is done.

Lease name

Councillors unanimously approved switching the names on the lease for some bays at Railway House, noted White. 

Bashaw and District Support Services held the lease for two bays in the village-owned property until the Alix group had all of their status applications approved. Those applications have been approved. 

The lessee name change was approved by council.

Much appreciated

Councillors read a letter of thanks from Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston who recognized Alix village council for their vocal support in securing improvements for Red Deer Regional Hospital. 

Johnston noted in his letter the Government of Alberta recently announced a $1.8 investment in the hospital.

White noted Alix council has been a very strong supporter of efforts to improve the hospital.


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.