Municipal Reserve Lot up for sale

Alix council met for their first and only July council meeting on Wed. July 3.

At the meeting, an Alix couple, whose home is directly beside a stand-alone vacant property owned by the village, had given the village office a notice of their interest in purchasing the site.

They also asked what a possible selling price would be if it were for sale.

The lot is currently under a municipal reserve designation typically meant for a public green space or park but administration felt this little section was not likely to be perceived this way by the public.

It also is serviced in front by water and sewer making it capable of being a serviced lot.

After a closed session, Coun. Vicki Soltermann moved that the Village set the purchase price of the lot at $30,000 including tax.

The purchaser would be responsible for any costs associated with the removal of the municipal reserve.

Should the municipal reserve be successfully lifted from the lot, the purchaser would also be responsible for land transfer costs including a public hearing.

Even if the intended buyers no longer wish to purchase, the lot can still be sold.

Request for appeal

Louie Humbke, an Alix resident, was displaced from his home during the months of March and April. He asked council to have his utility expenses paid for those months as a water line had frozen on the street outside of his home, disrupting water flow.

The bylaw surrounding pipework explained that any pipes that are located under private property is the responsibility of the owner while anything underneath public property is the village’s responsibility.

Although the pipe was under village property, Humbke lived in his rental home while they dealt with the frozen pipe.

At a prior council meeting earlier this year, council made the decision to not reimburse the expenses in full.

As a response, Humbke recently submitted a letter requesting an appeal on council’s decision to not pay for the temporary accommodation costs to council.

“At the time when this request for appeal came in there was no new bits [of information] to share,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White. “This afternoon the resident handed in a letter and an invoice for accommodations for 49 days while he was displaced.”

Council accepted the letter as information after discussion.

“I don’t want to beat it to death but did he not sit there and tell us that he had arranged accommodations?” asked Mayor Rob Fehr.

The other concern councillors had was the appeal to council.

Since it is a council decision, the individual cannot appeal the decision to the same council who made it.

“I think that was possibly a bit of a misunderstanding because when a decision is made at the council level you don’t appeal the decision to council,” said CAO White.

“If the decision was made by the Municipal Planning Commission, you can appeal to council as a whole. If it’s basically a subcommittee of council or if there is a bylaw fine or warning or ticket that is written and you don’t agree, you can appeal that to council but the decision he is appealing was originally made by council as a whole so in order for it to actually be appealed there would have to be significant new information or a change in council.”

Bookkeeper Policy

As part of internal housekeeping, administration brought forward an outdated policy needing to be repealed.

In-house staff are now doing all aspects of the former bookkeeper’s duties.

Since this has happened there is no legal requirement for this policy.

Council repealed the policy to no longer access documentation.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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