Village of Alix hears bylaw enforcement starts with warnings not tickets

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

ALIX – If you are not following bylaws in the Village of Alix, you may not get a ticket right away but probably a warning heard council during their regular council meeting April 21.

Councillors heard a report from Mark Sproule, manager of Lacombe County peace officers, which included a summary of all the work his department did in the village in 2020. 

The peace officers are contracted to work in the village for a certain number of hours per year, and Sproule noted the officers even went over that target a bit in 2020.

Sproule stated peace officers, when they work in Alix, are probably going to deal with a sidewalk that needs snow removed from it or other community standards work.

One thing Sproule mentioned that alleviated some workload from peace officers was the fact that public health complaints go directly to Alberta Health Services, which works with the RCMP, rather than to the peace officers.

Coun. Ed Cole mentioned that many senior citizens in Alix may want to shovel their sidewalks but have trouble because of their mobility, and asked if peace officers take this into account.

Sproule stated the peace officers keep a list of seniors who have trouble with their sidewalks. He also pointed out that the provincial government offers a grant program of up to $1,200 per year to help seniors pay for things like snow shovelling.

Looking more closely at the annual report, Cole stated he was also happy to see warnings and tickets are roughly equal in number and he was glad to see that a violation doesn’t automatically go straight to a ticket.

Coun. Tim Besuijen asked about a detail in the report called “radar speed sign.” Sproule answered that’s a visual display with the posted speed limit and also a radar-guided display that show a motorist what their current speed is. 

Sproule stated such signs are effective at slowing down traffic.

When asked if the peace officers noticed any traffic trends over the past year, Sproule answered it’s tough to say as some things can be subjective. 

However, he stated that when the COVID-19 pandemic began, traffic dropped noticeably, but traffic levels this spring are becoming much higher.

Sproule also presented to councillors Lacombe County’s updated traffic safety plan which is, he explained, primarily “Vision Zero;” that is Lacombe County has a vision to be free of death or serious injury caused by motor vehicle collisions.

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