Big Valley council passed a resolution to move forward with the development of a pump track park for the village at their Thurs. Sept. 27 council meeting.
The idea for this project was first brought to council’s attention at the August regular meeting.
A Pump Track is a type of trail system consisting of a continuous loop of dirt berms, banked turns and smooth dirt mounds.
The name “pump track” comes from the up and down body movements or pumping motion used by riders to gain momentum around the track.
They can be ridden by cyclists of all ages and skill levels without the need for a special kind of bicycle.
Committed to creating family-friendly recreational opportunities for Big Valley and the surrounding area, council requested community consultation on this proposed project.
Community feedback was gathered from surveys put on Facebook and in the village newsletter.
Letters of support were received from the Hivernant Métis Cultural Society, Big Valley Agricultural Society, Big Valley 4-H Beef Club and the Big Valley School.
According to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White, village staff have been discussing the project with builders and learned that a 10,000 square foot park would come in at approximately $160,000 including everything from project design to final landscaping.
Proposed locations have been considered and grant applications for $150,000 have already been filled out.
Council’s resolution means that the project can move on to the next steps which include sending off the grant applications, presenting the project to the County of Stettler for funding assistance and initiating a fundraising campaign while continuing to promote public awareness and keeping residents informed on the project’s progress.
The first of two cannabis bylaws deliberated by council passed third reading as presented.
Following community consultation, Bylaw 838 was drafted to impose restrictions on the consumption of cannabis in public places to prevent conduct that could have a negative impact on the enjoyment of public places.
According to CAO White, Bylaw 838 handles cannabis consumption comparable to alcohol consumption and is consistent with the cannabis consumption bylaws enacted in many other Alberta municipalities.
Continuing with further cannabis legislation deliberations, council moved on to discuss Bylaw 839, an amendment to Land Use Bylaw 765 addressing cannabis retail sales.
The proposed bylaw amendment adds “Cannabis Retail Sales” as a discretionary use in Big Valley’s commercial district.
Highlights of the amendment include provisions that cannabis retail sales cannot be co-located with tobacco or pharmaceutical sales or commercial recreation and entertainment facilities and will not be co-located, adjacent or connected to drinking establishments or liquor sales.
These amendments are cohesive with provincial legislation.
First reading went to a recorded vote, passing two to one with Coun. Harry Nibourg opposed.
The bylaw amendment will now proceed to a public hearing.
Round House assessment
Council voted to pay $10,000 toward the $21,000 expense of a building condition assessment study commissioned by the Canadian Northern Society on the Big Valley Roundhouse.
Cracks and fractures have developed within the structure so, in 2017, Canadian Northern approached council about getting the assessment done, asking if the village would help to cover the expense.
The roundhouse is jointly managed by the Village and the Canadian Northern Society as a provincially designated historic site.
Council has studied the report, but the next steps have yet to be discussed. Should the site deteriorate to an unsafe condition, the roundhouse would have to be secured against public access or even demolished.
Administration will work with the society to determine what steps need to be taken and bring back recommendations to council.