Council started on a high note as Mayor Rob Fehr celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary milestone with his wife and two daughters present.
Coun. Ed Cole handed them two signed letters, one from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and one from local MLA Ron Orr who extended their congratulations.
Afterwards, Julian Veuger, Emergency Management Coordinator of the Lacombe Regional Emergency Management Partnership, came to council chambers to discuss the regional partnership and how it is related to the village of Alix.
Veuger works closely with the village’s director of emergency management (DEM) to ensure Alix is prepared for any situation with the proper avenues to access in place.
He is currently on month four of a three-year contract with the regional partnership.
Each of the ten communities that he looks after in the region gets roughly three hours per month of attention but Veuger did mention that he is injecting more time into certain communities compared to others.
The Alberta government has legislated each municipality must have an emergency management committee and agency with a minimum requirement to meet once a year.
Veuger describes his role as “the manager of your hockey team.”
“I make sure that you have sticks, your skates are sharpened, I make sure you have a jersey to wear, I make sure that you’re ready for the game. I have no ability to go on the ice and score the goals and win the hockey game for the municipality. My job is to make sure that the municipality is equipped, trained, have the tools, the support when game time comes.”
Alix’s DEM and Veuger are condensing a massive book into a quick five to six-page response guide that administration can look at in a glance when an emergency comes along.
Each municipality is expected to support residents for the first four days after the emergency and uses the 80/20 rule.
Roughly 80 per cent of residents affected leave and find accommodations with family or hotels while the remaining 20 per cent need to be housed, which is one of the municipalities duties.
Training is also required to alleviate any problems that may arise and get administration familiar with how to proceed in the face of disaster.
Council’s role is to step back from the situation to let administration do the heavy lifting. They are to help later by releasing press releases and supporting the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) as best they can.
Administration brought forward a long-overdue bylaw for council review.
The cemetery bylaw was last updated in 2009.
Council made a resolution to have administration put in a notice of an updated version in utility bills to alert residents that the draft bylaw will be available for their review at the office.
Ideas of a field of honour for veterans was tossed around, updating fees, discontinuing construction work while a service is happening as well as implementing a deed title system to track plots was suggested.
Council found giving the community a chance to review the draft bylaw was a good idea as the topic can be emotional.
The draft will have a section dedicated to handling columbariums and niches.
The cemetery does not have any at this time but administration felt it was important for when the request to build one is requested.
Strategic planning survey review
The results of the strategic planning review came in as underwhelming with three replies back in total.
Council found this to be a positive reaction.
“There’s some good stuff in here, some interesting things,” said deputy mayor Tim Besuijen.
“I was really sad that there was only three or on the other hand like you said people are not upset otherwise more people would have [replied],” said Coun. Vicki Soltermann.
In total, 385 copies were sent out for feedback on what could be improved and what has been done right in the village.
Council received the replies as information with consideration at the next strategic planning review.