The Village of Alix council decided they will help pay for a new playground at the Alix Agricultural Society grounds. The decision was made at the Oct. 7 regular meeting of council.
Councillors read a letter of request from Mandi Peterson of the local Ag Society.
“I am writing on behalf of the Alix Agricultural Society to invite the municipality of Alix to be a part of our playground initiative,” stated the letter, which noted a financial breakdown was also included.
“In our proposed budget we are looking to raise a combined total of $8,000 from the County of Lacombe and the Municipality of Alix.”
White pointed out in her report the village’s recreation events budget is about $10,000 below budget while the Summer Camps budget is about $600 below budget, so budgeted funds were available for this request if councillors chose and reallocation was permitted by the Municipal Government Act.
She stated it looked like the work wouldn’t be done until 2021. Coun. Vicki Soltermann stated council should decide now because no one knows what the future is going to hold.
She also noted the Ag Society doesn’t ask for help very often.
Coun. Ed Cole stated the Ag Society is a busy place and should see some upgrades.
“I would like to see this go ahead,” said Cole.
Coun. Tim Besuijen asked if the playground would be open to the public. Mayor Fehr responded it appeared gates to the property are locked.
Councillors unanimously approved a $4,000 grant out of the 2020 budget for the Ag Society playground project.
New signs for Alix?
Staff gave councillors a report on updating various signage around the village, and a grant application will be made to help cover costs.
Councillors discussed signs outside the village and which areas of the village would benefit from better signage.
CAO White noted staff also consulted with other municipalities for advice.
A village billboard on Hwy. #12 at the gas station was discussed.
Coun. Gilliat stated she was open to suggestions, but as for leaving it at the gas station, “I don’t like it there.”
Several proposed village signs were presented to council and they seemed to like the green and brown one best.
“It’s alligator green too,” said Mayor Fehr, no doubt referring to the village’s mascot Alix-gator.
More information will be available on new signage after the grant application goes through.
Fire response charges
CAO White noted Lacombe County notified the village last June the county intends to charge for fire department responses, including motor vehicle collisions and structure fires.
She stated some tweaking was necessary to ensure both the village’s bylaw and county’s will work together.
White’s recommendation was to repeal the existing bylaw and draw up a new policy for fire department fees and charges. Councillors unanimously approved this recommendation.
White stated in her report that Fire Chief Darren Hiron was approached about this topic before it was brought to council.
It was noted at the meeting that ambulance response fees are a completely separate topic.
Coun. Cole gave an update on a recent Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) board meeting he attended.
Apparently, there is some confusion in the community about FCSS after council made a change to way funding is approved.
Alix council decided at a previous meeting they will review funding applications.
Cole pointed out this doesn’t mean FCSS is being shut down. Councillors discussed the fact FCSS funding continues to be granted by the provincial government and funnelled to the FCSS organization through the village.
Cole noted it was stated at the FCSS meeting the group may be interested in appearing at a future council meeting.
Councillors read a letter from a local resident voicing concerns about the cemetery. It was stated that this resident felt phase three of the cemetery, didn’t look quite as attractive as it possibly could.
White stated the cemetery is a sensitive topic; the village office receives positive feedback about the way it looks, and some less than positive.
She noted this was not an official complaint. It was also mentioned during discussion local residents could form a club or association to help the village maintain the cemetery.
Before the regular meeting was opened, the annual organizational meeting was held.
Village Chief Administrative Officer Michelle White chaired the meeting and the first order or business was election of mayor.
The only nomination made was incumbent Rob Fehr, who accepted the nomination.
Later, Mayor Fehr noted this is the final year of the term with the municipal election next year. He thanked fellow councillors for their support and encouraged everyone to continue working together and be respectful of each other.
Coun. Barb Gilliat was elected deputy mayor.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter