Easement cancellation doesn’t mean sidewalk has to be removed

Owners of Alix Shoppes can’t demolish the sidewalk beside its building and they withdrew their request to the Village of Alix for a deadline extension of the village’s notice of termination of their easement agreement.
Malonie Grimard, co-owner of Alix Shoppes, appeared before Alix council during its regular meeting Feb. 1, asking the village to extend its Feb. 10 termination deadline of an easement agreement.
Grimard told council they needed an extension of the easement agreement cancellation because they couldn’t “move the sidewalk as the town requested.”
Alix Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Troy Jenkins, however, told Grimard that they can’t “demolish something” they don’t own.
Grimard said she thought they had to rip up the sidewalk because it’s half on her business and half on village’s land.
Coun. Gordon Christensen said Alix Shoppes losing its easement agreement doesn’t mean the sidewalk has to to be removed.
“The sidewalk is there for public use. An easement doesn’t give ownership.”
Coun. Rob Fehr suggested the village bring in a third party, perhaps a surveyor with knowledge of drainage issues, to do an inspection and look at the drainage issues.
“This has been ongoing for quite some time. Have a third party come in and take a look. This has turned into a sniping contest and I don’t see anyone winning this and don’t see the point of this.”
Grimard said they have closed the Laundromat because they no longer have the easement agreement, which left them with 17 inches of sidewalk for access to the Laundromat.
Grimard said that this wasn’t enough width to allow patrons to carry their laundry baskets into the business so they have to close.
She said they are now “moving on” and planning to build a fence.
“I’m sick of hearing about it. We’re doing renovations and doing something else.”
Coun. Curt Peterson removed himself from the meeting prior to the discussion due to a conflict of interest. Coun. Peterson owns Alix Hardware, adjacent to Alix Shoppes.
The village also cancelled its easement agreement with Alix Hardware.

Connecting rural Albertans

Jason O’Connor, Community Relations for Axia out of Calgary, gave a presentation on fibre technology to Alix council during its regular meeting Feb. 1.
O’Connor said Axia could provide rural communities with better connections than what people in major urban centres get.
“You would go from lagging behind to being ahead.”
Axia, an Alberta company, is working on bringing fibre to 40 FibreTowns. So far they are in Vulcan, Nanton, Nobleford, Barnwell, Stirling, Pincher Creek, Raymond, Magrath, Hanna and Fort Macleod.
This has resulted in the tiny community of Magrath being able to open a call centre and helped to revitalize the community.
“Ultimately it’s jobs,” said O’Connor, adding that with fibre in rural areas more young people are likely to stay or move back.
A FibreTown is a community that understands the economic advantage and need for digital connectivity, said O’Connor.
The communities that have already become a FibreTown have seen benefits, according the O’Connor, including: 72 per cent believe their town is more attractive as a location for businesses, a savings of $884 per year per customer for Internet, 79 per cent say they have a more enjoyable entertainment experience, 60 per cent say their quality of life has improved since Axia came to town, 77 per cent say they believe their town is more attractive to new potentital residents and 53 per cent agree that young people are more likely to stay or move back.
Of note, said O’Connor in his sales pitch, is that FibreTowns have noticed up to a 14 per cent increase in business licenses after connecting with Axia. He said Vulcan residents save about $120,000 a year in reduction of phone and TV bills because of Axia.
For Axia to come to Alix, at least 30 per cent of Alix residents need to express an interest in Axia.

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