Division 7 Councillor hosts Huxley meeting

Ken King Huxley Meeting

Kneehill County Division 7 Councillor Ken King held a discussion regarding the interests of Huxley residents on Monday, Nov. 26. The meeting took place in the Huxley Community Centre and the first time slot from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. attracted 17 residents, including two ex-county councillors. There was another session after supper, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A leaflet labelled ‘Huxley Overview’ listed some facts about water/ground water, wastewater, roads and drainage networks, and Ag, Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries. The 2018 Assessment showed residential at $5,928,880, non-residential assessment as $209,240 and total municipal tax levy at $19,556. Huxley has 75 residents and 43 dwellings based on 2016 census.

The main issue with water was explaining that the community can and does exceed its permissible license to the point where the County has permanently closed the bulk fill station to slow down use of the licensed water consumption. With an option proposed to extend the rural water distribution line, some residents were unsure, balking at the highly chlorinated red deer river water as a solution, loving the ‘best anywhere’ acquifer of Huxley, while others had issues with the heavy rust and the costs associated with consistently having to change out taps and filters. Another resident asked if there could be notices sent out (or placed by postal boxes) to advise of hydrant flushing a couple of days ahead. They also wondered where the community’s bulletin board got to. There was some laughter at the mention of the lost bulletin board “when we can’t even afford to get a sign on the highway that says Huxley, so many miles from Three Hills or Trochu.” As a result, not many were sympathetic to Clr. King on the topic of new signage for Kneehill County. Clr. King maintained however, that it was more important for non-residents to have those signs announcing which County they are passing into. “You have to identify yourself; people need to know where you are.”

Other issues that came up was the payment of $125,000 by the County to the Huxley Historical Society for a shed at the ball diamond, while the Huxley Hall (built in 1921) needs major renovations. “They raised a quarter of a million dollars for a ball shed and our hall needs so much work.”

Garbage pick up was discussed, with most having no complaints, commending the service even, while others wondered why they had to pay so much for just one bag of garbage. Another resident even drove his bag of garbage to Trochu. Clr. King advised that the County has a contract with Trochu to pick up hamlet garbage.

One suggestion for Clr. King was that these meetings/discussions were good and positive, and that residents need to be kept more informed on important issues. “We don’t appreciate learning things after the fact.” However, it is a little tricky identifying which issues should be handled directly by elected officials and which need to be addressed with resident input.