Big Valley council grateful for RCMP presence

RCMP Constable Dave Lukeman had some good news to pass on to council when he dropped into Big Valley council meeting Apr. 28 to give a quick report.

A school resource officer will relocate to the Stettler detachment towards the end of the school year and begin duties in the fall once school begins.

Lukeman confirmed with CAO Michelle White that Big Valley residents interested in joining the Stettler branch of the Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP) will be more than welcome.

At the meeting, Coun. Sandra Schell indicated there was a great deal of interest in COPP but going through the process to start a Big Valley branch was cumbersome. The Big Valley branch will be a subset of the Stettler branch.

While reports of crime are up slightly in Big Valley, Lukeman could not confirm if that was due to more reporting by residents or if the rate had actually gone up.

Proposed outdoor arena
An outdoor rodeo arena would be used every weekend and likely most days through the week explained Tom Cassidy, who met with council to pitch the idea of utilizing an area close to the ice arena and ball diamonds for the project.

The Big Valley Rodeo Association wants to build an outdoor rodeo arena adjacent to the playground area but requires cooperation from Big Valley Agricultural Society, who holds the lease on the village owned property.

Trevor Kirtley from the Ag Society also popped in to discuss the idea with council. Several issues need to be worked out in order for the outdoor arena to become a reality but both groups and council agreed that it would be a positive addition to the village.

According to Cassidy, a number of groups have already expressed interest in using the facility.

Debenture paid off
Big Valley council received word that Camrose and Lacombe counties will officially drop out of the Shirley McLellan Regional Water Commission in 2017. The costs for the water line will be divided between remaining members but council had not heard yet how much costs will rise.

However, council decided to use the opportunity to pay off Big Valley’s portion of the debenture on Phase Two/Big Valley and Phase Three/Donalda of the water line, which amounts to just under $40,000 in order to save on interest. The payment will come out of 2016 reserves and operating budget.

Clean audit
Council approved the 2015 financial statements after receiving a clean audit report from Justin Tanner of Gitzel and Company Chartered Accountants.

With $670,690 in financial assets and $170,139 in liabilities, the village ended the year with just over $3 million in accumulated surplus, consisting of $516,841 in restricted and unrestricted surplus and the remainder in equity in tangible assets.

Revenues amounted to $541,617 and expenses $678,813. After government transfers for capital projects were added in, the village ended on the plus side with $266,161.

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