The Village of Alix set the date for an auction this fall intended to recover unpaid taxes on certain properties. The decision was made at the Aug. 5 regular meeting of council.
Councillors read a report from Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White describing the process of selling property to recover taxes owing from that property.
“Yes, it’s that time of year,” said White to council.
She noted all expenses incurred by the village are paid through the purchase price of the property, and if the property doesn’t sell, the village can choose to take ownership of it. White also noted the village follows a process for tax recovery set out in the Municipal Government Act.
Two properties are included in the current sale, each with its own reserve bid.
Coun. Vicki Soltermann asked how the reserves bid are calculated. White stated the reserves are as close to market value of the property as is possible.
Councillors approved the sale by auction in the village office.
White notified councillors Wolf Creek School Division (WCSD) had been in contact with the village regarding the September 2020 beginning of the school year.
The letter stated WCSD had a team working on developing a re-entry plan for the fall.
The school division stated it was collecting feedback and was planning to release information to the public by Aug. 14.
Councillors discussed a strategic planning session before the summer is over.
White suggested they review their current plan adopted in 2018 to see what has been completed, what hasn’t and what changes should be made.
Because of pandemic social distancing guidelines, White suggested public consultation be started through a notice in utility bills.
Councillors agreed to review the strategic plan at a meeting in August and to do it at the village office.
While examining monthly financial statements, Coun. Soltermann asked why the dog catcher had submitted a bill for over $1,500.
White answered the village had a cat situation in one part of town that the dog catcher was asked to handle.
White stated that to ease the effects of this on the budget, the dog catcher would be asked to cut back a bit on patrols.
Councillors approved a resignation of Lisa Honish from the public library board, and an application from someone wishing to fill that vacancy.
Councillors accepted the resignation and approved Applicant Colleen Vincent as the new board member.
During the regular financial report, White noted that the amount of incoming tax to the village was only down about 10 per cent from last year this time.
The village had extended tax payment deadlines due to the coronavirus pandemic.
During discussion, councillors asked White if she could include a regular report in the future listing unpaid taxes.
Council read a letter from City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland requesting the Village of Alix support Cold Lake’s opposition to recent proposed federal government gun control efforts.
It was stated at the meeting this letter had apparently been sent to every municipality in Alberta.
Coun. Ed Cole went one step further, stating he felt the village should speak out on its own.
“I would like to put this on the agenda for our next regular meeting, as I will be introducing a resolution similar to the Cold Lake resolution,” said Cole.
“This latest ‘gun grab’ by the federal government needs to be addressed.
“An order in council should only be used for emergencies and not as a tactic to usurp democratic debate.”
Councillors agreed to discuss the issue at an upcoming meeting.
By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/East Central Alberta Review