Big Valley council delved into the current Traffic Bylaw on Feb. 28, finding many changes that can help maintain up-to-date regulations involving traffic management.
They agreed to table the discussion in hopes of allowing administration time to change the bylaw to fit their needs and find some answers to their questions by sharing the bylaw with different levels of authority including the RCMP.
First reading has already taken place but Coun. Harry Nibourg found the fines not reflective of what Council would like to see implemented.
A parked vehicle carrying dangerous goods on an undesignated highway results in a $100 fine for the first offence compared to a resident parking a recreational vehicle (RV) for $200.
Both can be deemed abandoned after 72 hours.
The bylaw also states that anyone who has mechanical issues and can not move the RV immediately is not in breach but should be making arrangements to get said vehicle moved, especially in an area that requires regular access.
“So a guy can pull up here and park out there with Uranium 238 or yellow cake and not even get a $100 fine whereas someone who pulls their trailer up here gets a $200 fine.
“We are actually saying that parking a trailer is more detrimental than dangerous goods like radioactive drill fluid or whatever you find here in town,” said Coun. Nibourg.
Nibourg requested they either increase the fine to match the RV fine or make it higher.
Another issue brought forward was the certain amount of people allowed in an area like a sidewalk or street as pedestrian traffic is heavy when the Alberta Prairie Railway Excursion comes to town as part of their local tourism.
“It’s put in place for situations where you have people who are causing a disturbance while they are doing that and it gives bylaw enforcement or RCMP the ability to disperse them while acting under a bylaw,” explained Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White.
This bylaw falls under the Traffic Safety Act (TSA) legislated across Alberta as provincial ruling has authority over municipalities.
Any vehicle that occupies the roadway must be registered with headlights and tail lights.
Administration asked the RCMP to look at whether or not they can allow people to use their golf carts in the village but they weren’t able to find anything that lets council accomplish this through a bylaw or other measures.
“It’s no different than having your lawn mower and driving down the road,” said Nibourg. “Now if I take my lawn mower and I drive it, it’s considered a motorized vehicle. I can not ensure it.
“I can register it with the town so it is usable in the town. Now we can have a bylaw so we can snowmobile here.
“The RCMP does not dictate in our village for lawn mowers, golf carts, snowmobiles, any things like the tub mobile or whatever.”
Mayor Sandra Schell mentioned that golfers are allowed to take the most direct route to the golf course at this time but if they want to go for a joy ride they are not permitted and are at risk of being fined.
“I can definitely go from my house to the golf course because that is what has been reasoned but if I’m deciding to drive around town and go – if they stop me I’m getting a ticket. This has happened numerous times in Big Valley,” said Mayor Schell.
Big Valley’s Traffic Bylaw was first enacted in 1973 with little changes since then making this review the most in-depth.
Brown appointed CAO
Priscilla Brown was appointed the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Big Valley at the meeting. Signing authority along with duties, powers and functions were passed on to her from former CAO Michelle White who attended council one last time.
Brown was officially on duty as of Fri. March 1.
Grant application successful
With the help of Council, the Big Valley Ladies Club will be enjoying their sign making night with a piece of mind knowing the hall fees are paid for.
The club submitted a Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) application earlier with the proposal of having this grant cover the hall rental fees which costs $250.
Council agreed that the night will develop interpersonal and group skills and will help with strategic priorities.