Municipal Affairs reviewing Alix petitions

A pair of petitions launched by frustrated Alix residents are under review by the province.

A pair of petitions launched by frustrated Alix residents are under review by the province.

Concerns about the village’s finances and council’s oversight have been simmering for months in the small community of about 800 located 55 km northeast of Red Deer.

Petitions asking for an inquiry into the village’s administration and finances and a second petition to look into dissolution have been sent to the province.

Alberta Municipal Affairs staff are now verifying the petitions and have 30 days to report back to Minister Danielle Larivee.

“The minister will then make a decision on action, if any, that will be taken once she reviews the results of the petition,” says Municipal Affairs spokesman Jerry Ward in an email.

There are no time lines on a decision.

Local business and property owner Malonie Grimard said about 320 residents — around 80 per cent of electors — signed the petitions.

The one asking for an inquiry alleges mismanagement of the village’s resources which has led to “unfair” tax rates and tax burdens on residents.

“There was a question of where some of our money was going, things like that,” said Grimard on Wednesday.

“They’re just looking into a general inquiry into where our money was going, what it was being used for and the conduct of some of the councillors.”

She received notice on Monday from Municipal Affairs that the petitions had been received and were being reviewed.

A number of residents are expected to address council and air their concerns at its next meeting on May 18.

Members of council could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

This isn’t the first time the province has been asked to look into Alix’s affairs.

In 2007, demands for a review from residents led to a 22-page report from the province, which criticized the municipal leaders of the day for failing to consult residents and holding too many private meetings.

Municipal Affairs inspected village operations after receiving a petition from concerned citizens. Council had faced criticism about everything from the mayor’s pay to a decision to demolish the community hall.

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