Drones causing a nuisance in Big Valley

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Between eight and 10 complaints have come in to the Big Valley village office about drones in Big Valley and surrounding areas, some that have been invading people’s privacy and harassing residents.
At the Sept. 22 regular meeting, Coun. Sandra Schell described her personal experience with a drone flying into her yard and landing atop her pergola, then continuing to her neighbour’s yard and bothering her neighbour.
Council discussed whether a bylaw would be necessary to limit the use of drones in the village. Because they would fall under the category of being a nuisance, CAO Michelle White suggested it might be better to update the nuisance bylaw to include drones.
Coincidentally, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association has included a discussion about drones at their October convention.
Transport Canada regulates the use of drones and, depending on the size of the drone, the operator may require permission or certificates from Transport Canada. General dos and don’ts as well as regulations governing drones are available on the Transport Canada website.

Rodeo champs honoured
A couple of new faces will grace the street banners of Big Valley next year. Council is looking to add two new rodeo champions to the banners, one being two time Calgary Stampede saddle bronc champ Zeke Thurston of Big Valley. The other is yet to be determined and will likely be chosen from submissions from the public.

Planning costs shared
After meeting with Stettler County Assistant CAO Yvette Cassidy, White reported to council that an intermunicipal development plan with the county will cost about $5000, split between the county and village.
White indicated that the county was willing to have their planning department work on the plan, saving considerable cost (upwards of $18,000) to use outside consultants.
Big Valley is looking for an agreement with the county that covers up to a two kilometre radius of county land around the village. According to White, the agreement should be in place by early 2017.

Funds still available
White reported that $9500 still remained in the Family and Community Support Services fund. Council approved three grants from that total.
Big Valley Library will receive $2200 for community programming and Big Valley School was granted $650 for a babysitting course.
Council also opted to set aside $2000 for the Big Valley Christmas Party, part of which will pay for  a dedicated individual to organize the event. FCSS has $4650 remaining for organizations requiring a grant.

Will snowbirds flock to Big Valley?
A block of village owned land between Second and First Avenue, and Third and Fourth Street could be developed into a park model/tiny home park depending on the cost of development.
Council discussed whether the property might be useful for snowbirds looking to purchase a small lot for a park model or those looking to build a tiny home, which has recently become a popular trend.
White will bring back information on whether the park would be feasible for the next council meeting.

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