Village of Alix hears water bills probably not going up as much as expected

Alix village council heard that billing from the water commission likely isn’t increasing as much as expected. The revelation came to light at the Nov. 16 regular council meeting.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White stated in a telephone interview Nov. 17 that while discussing the 2023 interim operating budget it was reported that the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission at their Nov. 4 budget meeting set an increased per cube water rate that was not as high as previously anticipated.

Readers may remember about one year ago the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission issued their budget to member municipalities, then changed it a few weeks later.

Councillors unanimously approved the 2023 interim operating budget.

Request for Business Plan

White presented councillors with the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission's 2023 proposed budget.

Councillors approved the budget, but also instructed village staff to send the commission a letter.

The letter will request the commission include the business plan updates along with budget expenses.

The CAO stated the current commission business plan ran from 2015 to 2019 and came to fruition with the completion of two final community expansions. She added that the update was delayed because of the two community projects.

Closed session

Councillors discussed two issues in closed session, land valuation and personnel issues. Readers may know that due to FOIP legislation councillors may discuss certain topics behind closed doors; however, any resolutions must be passed in the public meeting.

The following resolution was unanimously approved regarding the land valuation issue: Moved by Coun. J. Besuijen that the Village of Alix council hereby agrees to sell that portion of 45th Street contiguous with 5303 47th Street for $15,000 plus GST and all other costs of subdivision and transfer, subject to a successful road closure and Land Use Bylaw amendment process.

The following resolution was unanimously passed by councillors related to the personnel issue: Moved by Coun. Ed Cole that the Village of Alix council hereby authorizes the use of up to $10,000 of general reserves for contracted assistance with human resources matters.

Fish in Alix Lake?

The CAO noted councillors discussed some information provided by the Alberta Conservation Association regarding the stocking of fish in Alix Lake.

She noted councillors agreed they would like to invite a representative of the association to speak to council at one of their future meetings about this idea.

White noted that councillors aren’t sure it’s a viable idea but are interested in exploring it.

She also added that Alix Lake has been rumoured to have the occasional pike swimming around, but that’s about it.

Capital budget

Councillors examined the interim 2023 capital budget, and White noted the important lagoon project remains in the budget subject to change depending on the engineer’s final recommendation.

Councillors unanimously approved the 2023 interim capital budget.

Waiving of taxes

Councillors unanimously agreed to waive property tax bills for all tenants of village-owned Railway House.

The CAO reported those tenants are either non-profit societies or commercial enterprises that do not have property taxes noted in their leases.

911 evolution

Councillors also approved signing a “Next Generation” 911 contract with Telus.

White noted that “Next Generation” means people will be able to report 911 emergencies in ways other than a traditional phone call.

She added that the village has not received any information that suggests Telus will be increasing 911 fees for this program.

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review