Big Valley’s newly elected councillors took the oath of office on Thurs., Oct. 26.
Dwayne Grover and Harry Nibourg joined incumbent Sandra Schell to form the new council for the next four-year term.
Following the official swearing in, Sandra Schell was acclaimed as mayor and Dwayne Grover will serve as deputy mayor.
These positions are revisited each year during the annual organizational meeting.
Committee representatives and board appointments were then determined to represent the interests of the village.
Remuneration, meeting and travel allowances were reviewed and debated with council electing to maintain current compensation levels.
The annual fee for all councillors is $1,250. The full day rate (over four hours) for meeting attendance is $90, the half day rate (up to four hours) is $60 and mileage reimbursement is at $.50 per kilometer.
Sgt. Phil Penny of the Stettler detachment came to introduce himself to the new council at the regular meeting and discussed RCMP presence in the village.
Over the past two years, Sgt. Penny has assigned each constable a turn in Big Valley while the tourist train was in the village.
The result has been the building of a very strong relationship between the Stettler detachment, village council, staff and the community.
According to Penny, property crimes remain a concern for law enforcement.
“We don’t see a lot of crime in Big Valley,” states Penny “but Red Deer is the third largest city in Alberta and that will have an effect in Big Valley. The area is right on the cusp on how far the criminals are willing to drive.”
While small communities may seem an easy target, Penny maintains that public education is the most effective way to reduce property crimes.
Three FCSS grant applications were reviewed by council.
The Friends of the Big Valley Library on behalf of the Big Valley Ukulele Group and the Big Valley Painting Group applied for FCSS funding for instructional workshops.
Council approved $500 dollars for each group.
An application for support of the Métis Hivernant Rendezvous was also eligible for funding under the FCSS mandate but $500 was already given in January of this year for the 2017 Rendezvous.
Following CAO White’s recommendation, council tabled this application until the 2018 year and will review it at that time.
Council allocated $1600 toward the annual Christmas in the Village event.
Last year’s expansion of this annual celebration was very well received by the whole community and council is committed to maintaining this excellent family event.
There is currently $10,202.51 remaining in the FCSS budget for this year.
Funds must be used within the FCSS mandate and cannot be carried over from year to year.
It should be noted that the majority of programs usually funded have not submitted applications for this year as of yet.
Big Valley illustrated map
The previous council approved the development of an illustrated map of Big Valley to be put up on a large community message board in order help tourists locate the many attractions in the village and keep locals updated on various community events.
The latest draft of the map was reviewed by the new council and sent on to the next stage of development.
ECA Review Reporter