This month Municipal Affairs gave more directives to Alix after the Ministerial Order they issued to the village last fall following its investigation.
In September 2017 Municipal Affairs ordered Alix to produce a borrowing bylaw authorized the Moonwalkers lease and to hire a qualified accounting firm to review the Moonwalkers lease.
Municipal Affairs investigated the village after a group of Alix residents submitted two petitions to Municipal Affairs in 2016. The group cited high taxes and how the village spent tax dollars as reasons for one of the petitions.
Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson, in a March 8 letter to council, commended Alix for its timely response and added more needs to be done.
“Council and administration have worked diligently to address the issues identified in the inspection report. However, given the concerns with the process followed for the approval of the original borrowing for the CAC (Moonwalkers), I have issued further directives.”
The new directives aim to provide additional support to ensure the village follows proper procedure set out in the Municipal Government Act for approving borrowing.
The village was directed to implement the plan they gave the ministry to address the lack of an approved bylaw authorizing the borrowing for Moonwalkers.
They must also provide the ministry with a copy of the new authorized bylaw and give Municipal Affairs a copy of the notice advertising the borrowing bylaw plus provide copies of signed council meeting minutes between October 2017 and May 2018 for meetings that discussed Moonwalkers and the borrowing bylaw.
Council passed a motion in January to refinance Moonwalkers after getting a legal opinion.
The village closed Moonwalkers Dec. 12, 2016, after BDO Canada presented Moonwalkers’ financial report that same day revealing since opening in 2013, the facility lost $553,673. The village funded Moonwalkers through taxation.
Alix renamed Moonwalkers Railway House and refinanced it for $1,263,000 over a 30-year period at 3.39 per cent interest.
Controlling cat population
Jim Deboon from Klassic Kennels out of Red Deer County told council their bylaws should have the same rules for cats as they have for dogs.
“You’re asking a cat owner to have a different level of responsibility than dog owners.”
He suggested council consider updating its cat bylaw, educate the public and put energy and effort into the bylaw. He said cats should be licensed by six months of age.