Clive village council responded to a delegation of residents who complained about the municipality spending too much money. The delegation appeared at the May 23 regular meeting of council, held one day later than usual because of the May long weekend.
A group of Clive residents was led by A. Sayers who requested to appear at the meeting to discuss concerns that the village was spending too much money, especially on things the village might “want” as opposed to things the village “needs.”
Sayers named a number of recent decisions the village council made, including two new flagpoles with a price tag of about $10,000, a project near the public library involving an outdoor piano with a village contribution of $4,000, the ongoing delays of hooking the village up to the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission and recent discolouration of the village’s drinking water.
Mayor Lucy Henry addressed the flagpole decision first, noting in 2019 the council of the day decided to engage in truth and reconciliation with First Nations and Metis people by displaying their flags in Clive; the flags required two new flagpoles.
Henry stated municipalities received a call to action on this issue and the Clive council also quotes a land acknowledgment at the beginning of every meeting for the same purpose.
Henry stated the flagpole project was originally priced at about $7,500 but inflation bumped it up to about $10,000.
Sayers responded by asking if the flagpole project was a necessity for Clive.
Henry stated the village council discussed the project again in 2021 and 2022 and decided to uphold the commitment the previous council made.
Coun. Norma Penney stated she supported the flagpole project because truth and reconciliation is a valuable initiative and acknowledged it was a shame the project took so long because costs have climbed during that time.
Mayor Henry then addressed the outdoor piano project near the public library, noting it was a volunteer appreciation project that is partially funded by grants. Sayers stated that it did not appear the village council consulted the public about that project.
Sayers asked about a council pay raise, but Henry and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney pointed out the four per cent cost of living increase recently approved by council applies only to village staff, not the elected councillors.
Other members of Sayers’ delegation stated that with the constant inflation in the economy many Clive residents are having a tough time making ends meet and they were asking councillors to remember this when they’re spending tax dollars.
Mayor Henry then addressed the delays to hooking up to the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission, acknowledging that the Village of Clive had been raising water rates modestly every year for the past few years to prepare residents for the hook up.
The mayor stated the water commission’s rates were known to be higher than village residents were accustomed to and the village council didn’t want residents to get a large shock when commission rates came into effect.
The CAO explained the commission may have been able to complete the Clive hook-up last winter but the village requested it wait until summer weather which would pose fewer challenges for village staff.
Mayor Henry noted the water commission is poised to complete Clive’s hook-up in mid-June and it appears that date is completely reliable.
Lastly, Mayor Henry addressed the discoloured drinking water. Henry stated that according to Alberta Environment regulations the village, which has multiple water wells, is required to switch between them at certain times, which it recently did.
The switching of the wells apparently is related to the discoloured water which poses no health risk, while it was also pointed out not every resident of Clive has observed the discoloured water.
The councillors thanked the delegation for attending prior to the residents leaving the meeting.
By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jun 01, 2023