Big Valley council hears about paving problems Oct. 28

Written by Stu Salkeld

The newly sworn-in Village of Big Valley council heard about some problems with recent paving in the municipality during their regular council meeting Oct. 28.

During the regular report of village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Tracy Mindus councillors heard the recent paving in Big Valley was completed under budget, but there were two issues.

“There were a couple incidents that have been reported to the CAO, as per the Village of Big Valley Health and Safety Management policy,” stated the CAO’s report.

“The incidents were minor but could have been major. The one incident involved the paving crew hitting a small unidentified cable, after investigation it was identified as an abandoned Shaw cable line.

“The second incident was the paving crew paved over a water valve on Main Street. 

“This was due to two reasons, one being the valve wasn’t located on the as-built drawings (which later has revealed that it is in the wrong spot on the drawings), and second at the planning stages this was not identified.”

CAO report

Mindus also noted the village doesn’t have a contractor or service in place to handle problematic animals.

Coun. Gail Knudsen, at the end of Mindus’ report, asked if the recent senate and referendum ballot problem would affect the village’s budget at all. 

Mindus answered the municipal election was still under budget as the province provided funding to pay for the senate and referendum ballots.

Water tower leak

Mindus, in her report, noted the water tower project is behind schedule by a couple of weeks and appears to have hit a snag.

During the Public Works report Foreman Nick Dubitz reported the liner inside the water tower appears to have a leak in it. 

Councillors voiced concern water would get behind the liner and cause damage.

Dubitz stated the work in question is under warranty and the village is working with the contractor on a solution.

Cemetery situation

Councillors passed first reading to a change to the village’s cemetery bylaw, a change which would allow more urns to be placed on gravesites. 

Mindus reported the change came after a resident requested it.

Newly appointed Mayor Dan Houle stated he didn’t have a problem with the idea as long as the footprint didn’t change. The bylaw change will return to a future meeting.

Firefighters are fit

Councillors approved approaching the local gym about memberships for all Big Valley firefighters. It should be noted Mayor Houle, a member of the fire department, declared a pecuniary interest and excused himself from this discussion.

Mindus’ report stated the existing village policy provides for such gym memberships; it was also stated a gym membership is $420 plus tax. 

Deputy Mayor Amber Hoogenberg stated she was in favour of the village supporting the memberships and also pointed out the memberships may not have been used as much last year because COVID caused a lot of shut-downs.

Coun. Knudsen also liked the idea. “I don’t mind this at all,” said Knudsen. 

Knudsen asked if the CAO could speak to the gym about a discount for the firefighters. 

The item will return to a future meeting.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.