More paving planned for Big Valley

Paving, sidewalks, quonset roof repairs and a new sander are the top capital priorities for Big Valley council as they went through their wish list for 2017 with CAO Michelle White at the Oct. 27 regular meeting.
According to White, who presented a first draft of the capital budget, the village will have about $320,000 to work with in 2017 if the village receives a provincial capital grant of $150,000. Approximately $270,000 is pegged for paving and concrete work.
Council also reviewed the operating budget. White stated she was unsure yet whether Big Valley will receive a provincial operating grant. No grant would mean a shortfall of about $50,000.
“It will screw up the budget because it will be $50,000 we won’t have.”
Council will review both second drafts at their November meeting.

New roles for councillors
Coun. Ken Johnson will take on the role of Big Valley mayor and Coun. Sandra Schell deputy mayor following Big Valley’s organizational meeting held prior to the regular meeting.
Coun. Lois Miller declined to allow her name to stand for the position. Miller has held the position of mayor since former Mayor Gail Knudson resigned midway through the four-year term.
Council on board with various developments
A new request from Community Health and Wellness to build an outdoor skating rink has the support of council.
The group is looking for a spot on municipal land with close access to water plus a commitment from the village to provide water at no charge.
While council wants a more detailed plan from the group, they made a commitment to supply water for the project.
Other municipalities are expressing interest in what Big Valley plans to do with the tiny home subdivision reported White.
In the U.S., tiny home subdivisions are becoming more common, explained White, but in Canada, no real subdivision plans exist outside of recreational or campground developments.
“When you find out what you’re doing, tell us,” recounted White of the conversations she’s had with other municipalities.
Another developer has approached White about possibly locating a private seniors six-plex in Big Valley on the same land the tiny home subdivision would use. Currently the developer is looking at a few communities before making a final decision.
“I think our objective is to get something happening,” stated Coun. Lois Miller about both proposals.

FCSS grants approved
Four grants were approved from the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) funds.
Big Valley Legion will receive $500 for winter programming, $750 will be set aside for the Whistle village newsletter, $500 will go to host a solar workshop at the end of November and $2650 will go to the Big Valley Agricultural Society.
Council also gave preliminary approval to the Big Valley Hivernant Society’s application but opted to hold the application for the 2017 FCSS budget as the activities applied for occur in 2017.

Addressing both needs
Two applications came in for the $280 grant available from the Big Valley Community Foundation and council found a way to approve both.
Big Valley School applied for the grant to fund the Grades 7 and 9 outdoor fall camping trip and
Big Valley Citizens On Patrol (COP) requested $219 for vests for member identification when patrolling.
CAO White informed council that there was money in the bylaw enforcement budget that could be used for COP. Council approved $219 from the budget for COP and also approved the $280 foundation grant for the school.

Update on drones
After further investigation regarding drones in the village, CAO White suggested council wait to draft a bylaw until 2017 when Transport Canada will introduce new regulations for drones.
According to White, drones entering private property would have to be addressed as a trespass and not as a nuisance as council previously discussed.

Budget approved
Council approved the Big Valley Library 2017 budget for $33,648 and also approved the renewal of a three-year contract with Parkland Community Planning Service.

About the author

ECA Review