Alix council was tasked with determining support of police presence at Alix-MAC School.
The Village has a contract agreement with Lacombe County Peace Officers for law enforcement.
Lacombe County provides funding for a school resource officer (SRO) position through the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) grant given each year.
At the moment, Alix-MAC School, as well as the rest of Wolf Creek School Division, has received inconsistent exposure as the current SRO comes from the Blackfalds Detachment which is experiencing transfers and other issues.
Peace officers have been in touch with the Alix-MAC School principal by letter, hoping to build a ‘meaningful and long-term partnership’ even by having RCMP officers visit every so often.
The benefit of having an SRO at the school is to create positive interactions between RCMP figures and students.
Bashaw and Stettler RCMP were interested in helping wherever possible.
Sergeant Holliday of the Bashaw Detachment said he was in favour of this idea and extended a helping hand to the Lacombe County Peace Officers should they need extra assistance or information.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White suggested they require an RCMP member report on the outcome of this new initiative to help council determine its success and intent to continue in the future.
Council authorized Lacombe County Peace Officers to use a portion of their contracted service hours for the Village of Alix by working in partnership with Alix MAC School for the purpose of positive interaction with students.
Security Cameras nabbing crooks
With new security cameras spread around the village in various spots, the system is already starting to pay off as law enforcement has caught crooks in the act.
Mayor Rob Fehr was pleased to report about their effectiveness regarding community safety.
“We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback about the cameras,” said Fehr. “Law Enforcement really likes them and it’s already assisted them in apprehending some individuals. It’s already paid for itself in that light.”
Traffic Bylaw Use of Streets
Over the past few council meetings, Alix council has taken a look at their current traffic bylaw for clarity and possible revisions.
This week they zeroed in on the Use of Streets and Public Places section.
The main points included permission and other specifics for a local parade, use of garage sale signs, and impediment of emergency vehicles.
“We want to make sure that it is clear that people can’t block emergency vehicles,” said Mayor Fehr. “Some of it is at the discretion of the CAO so if you want to block, for say a parade or something, then you would go through the regular protocol, send in a letter request and the CAO will say its a yay or a nay which is typically never a problem.
“Another is that you can’t leave yard sale signs everywhere and then leave them there for a week or so once the sale is over. You need to make sure that those are taken down so you’re not getting clutter.”
Library board member compliance
Since the Service Level Review and Strategic Planning work recently completed by council, there have been several community services and municipal-funded agencies council have been attempting to improve communications with.
Along with this, council took a closer look at the roles council plays regarding certain services.
“No secret there is problems there,” said Mayor Fehr.
Councillors were appointed to various boards and committees late last year but library board members have not been appointed by resolution from council for many years prior to this appointment.
Because of this, the village has no record of the length of time current members have served for.
As for legality issues, the Libraries Act RSA states that alternates are not allowed on a municipal library board and that all terms can last up to three years.
Administration did mention that provincial funding could be withheld due to lack of compliance with legislative requirements.
For Alix’s Library Board, it is made up of volunteers who have dedicated their time to make the library a better place for the community but for council, they are required to follow the rules set out.
Council decided to remove alternate Coun. Ed Cole from the local board.
Although no alternates will sit on this board, Mayor Fehr, under the Municipal Government Act, has the right to sit at any meeting so he will be attending future board meetings.
“The plan is to steer them in the right direction and try and get them working together in a positive fashion,” said Mayor Fehr.
“I’m getting feedback in the community that has been less than flattering and it concerns me. I want to see this thing move forward and we need to find some common ground to do that.
“Otherwise, there is going to have to be decisions made to get everybody going in the same direction,” added Fehr.
CAO workweek increased
Council found CAO White’s expertise worthwhile after an in-camera session regarding the CAO’s performance.
They approved an increase in hours worked from three to four days per week for the CAO and their rate of pay was approved according to the terms of the employment contract which became effective on March 1, 2019.
“It’s been a very acceptable arrangement and I don’t think – I know we are getting really good value for the experience. Good information we are receiving from her has been exceptional,” said Fehr.
“We’re really lucky to have her.”