Big Valley council hears report on cracked water tower

Big Valley council heard a plan about addressing a crack in the community’s water tower during the regular meeting of council Mon. Jan. 28.

The meeting was held via Zoom to meet pandemic rules.

Acting Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Gail Knudson gave councillors an update on problems, including a crack, that had been discovered at the water tower which could be the main source of water loss. 

Knudson stated a contractor has been contacted and examined the damage.

Coun. Harry Nibourg commented it may not be possible to do this work in winter as freeze-ups may occur.

Mayor Clark German agreed, stating the village should be cautious as any quote the contractor offers won’t cover any freeze-ups that occur and the village should wait for warmer weather.

Knudson noted the contractor stated the bladder could be worked on now as they have a heater which apparently will prevent freeze-ups.

Nibourg stated he suspects there’s more to the water leak than the crack.

“I don’t think it’s our main leak, I think it’s one of them,” said Nibourg.

“I think you’re correct, Coun. Nibourg,” said Mayor German.

Councillors accepted Knudson’s report for information.

 New CAO

Councillors approved the hiring of a new village chief administrative officer, Tracy Mindus, along with approving certain authorities for her, such as signing and development officer. 

The hiring is effective Mon. Feb. 15.

Mindus was attending the meeting via Zoom and councillors gave their congratulations.

Land-use updates

Knudson reported to councillors on several items they wanted to be forwarded to Parkland Community Planning Services (PCPS), including RV parking on residential lots and the use of sea-cans for storage on residential lots.

Knudson reported that PCPS pointed out that not all Big Valley residences have rear access and councillors should keep this in mind when considering RV parking.

Also, regarding the issue of residential use of sea-cans Big Valley doesn’t have a bylaw addressing these, just a past resolution, which can be altered by another resolution of council.

Mayor German asked if Big Valley council changed the Land-use Bylaw, it would require a process involving a public hearing. 

Knudson replied that was correct.

Coun. Nibourg stated the village would need specifications on how residential sea-cans would be permitted. 

“We got to get out some parameters, we can’t just go in there blind,” said Nibourg. 

Nibourg suggested staff examine other community’s sea-can bylaws and bring back more information to council.

German suggested including details for other issues as well, including RV parking on residential lots. 

Councillors passed a motion to this effect.

Staff reports

Knudson noted during her CAO report that there were 30 land transactions in Big Valley in 2020 and about 90 percent of them were classified as “change of ownership” deals.

During the Public Works report Coun. Nibourg asked if there was any feedback on a sander. 

Knudson stated no, staff were still talking to other communities about available equipment or ideas.

Mayor German noted the village needs to come up with a mix low enough in moisture for an effective spread.

Coun. Art Tizzard commented new material was needed as the black soil was not working. 

German agreed, stating he’d heard negative comments about the black material.

Tizzard said he may be able to get clean sand for maybe $2 or $3 a yard from a private pit. 

Knudson stated staff would look into that and report back at 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.