Happy with get-together on lake health

Display in the Village of Alix council chambers that was available at the lake information night. ECA Review/S.Salkeld
Written by Stu Salkeld

Alix village council is happy with the results of a public meeting held to discuss efforts to improve the condition and health of the community’s popular namesake waterbody.
A verbal report about the Alix Lake open house was made at the March 6 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White gave a verbal report about the public get-together held last month to discuss work planned within Alix Lake; the meeting was held at the community hall.


Display in the Village of Alix council chambers that was available at the lake information night. ECA Review/S.Salkeld

Councillors decided several months ago to hold an information night to update the public on projects involving the village’s waterbody, specifically dredging of the lake with the goal of eventually making it suitable for fish stocking.

White stated that 56 people attended the open house, and she suspected not all may have been Village of Alix residents.

Owing to the popular regional nature of Alix Lake, the CAO stated she thought some of the guests were likely county residents.

Mayor Rob Fehr stated he had already heard positive feedback about the information night from 12 or 13 people, with the CAO noting the Alix nature trail group, which had an information booth set-up at the info night, also had a successful outing.

Additionally, the Alix Chamber of Commerce took the opportunity to set up a booth and speak to guests about local shopping habits; the chamber asked guests to fill out a survey on the topic and White reported 41 were returned the same night.

The CAO noted the chamber of commerce survey is ongoing with the understanding the survey remains available for interested residents.

The CAO observed this opportunity for citizen engagement appeared to be warmly received, as over 60 questions were submitted by the public before the event; while White noted some of the guests wanted a question-and-answer style session, not all of the experts were able to attend and organizers felt it was better to answer the questions beforehand to ensure everyone got a response that night.

As councillors discussed the information night, they seemed to agree it was well-received by the public and the public appeared to have all of their questions answered.

Councillors also discussed the wealth of information available at the information night, much of it revealing projects such as the dredging won’t be as detrimental to the lake habitat as the public might fear.

The mayor noted some of the work will actually enhance wildlife habitat.

Coun. Tim Besuijen stated the dredging is also expected to improve the lake’s water quality.

The CAO confirmed dredging will remove decomposed vegetation from the lake bottom and suggested this vegetation may have been a problem when it was stirred up by lake-users or other causes.

Mayor Fehr confirmed there were a few people in attendance who didn’t seem happy with the lake project.

Councillors also discussed the effect dredging will have on Alix Lake’s depth, especially as it pertains to vessels; the CAO noted that Alix Lake at its deepest point is about 9.6 feet and the dredging won’t have a noticeable effect on that.

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.