The Village of Big Valley is considering hiring someone to enforce bylaws in the municipality. The discussion was held at the Nov. 26 regular meeting of council.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sandra Schell presented councillors with a report on the possibility of contracting out bylaw enforcement services.
Currently, the CAO handles bylaw enforcement duties.
Schell noted the village had been contacted by a company out of Camrose, JAG Security, which specializes in things like patrols, late night security and bylaw enforcement, with a proposal for providing bylaw enforcement services to the village.
On their Google review page JAG Security describes itself thusly: “JAG is a security services company that has been in business for more than 10 years. We provide security personnel for all types of locations and events. We have experience with heavy industry, construction, hospital and special event industries. We also offer bylaw enforcement services to small towns in rural areas for reasonable prices. All of our guards are licensed by the solicitor general, and have ProTect and ProServe training from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.”
Coun. Harry Nibourg noted Camrose is a fair distance from Big Valley and asked if being from outside the community would pose a problem for the enforcement officers.
Schell responded the quote that JAG Security provided includes mileage and time spent performing bylaw enforcement duties.
Mayor Clark German asked if JAG Security officers would handle everything, to which Schell responded, “Yes.”
Nibourg stated he was wary, as he suspected there would be more fees added later that the village may not be told about at this time.
Coun. Art Tizzard noted, reading information from Schell’s report, that JAG Security would charge extra fees if work went over regular hours.
Nibourg noted some bylaw tickets might end up in court and suggested that court time would also be on top of other costs. Nibourg asked why not consider a local person for the position of bylaw enforcement officer?
Schell responded bylaw enforcement officers have to have certain qualifications and getting those qualifications can be time consuming.
During discussion, the idea of asking the County of Stettler to provide bylaw enforcement in the village came up. Schell responded that the village actually met with the County of Stettler to discuss that idea but the village never heard back from the county.
Mayor German noted even if the village went with the County of Stettler for bylaw enforcement services that would still cost money.
Nibourg stated he felt the public should be notified about the effort to hire bylaw enforcement officers, and it should be publicly advertised.
Schell stated again that anyone hired to work as a bylaw enforcement officer has to have certain credentials.
Nibourg responded that he felt the village administration should look into more options for bylaw enforcement, including people who live locally.
Mayor German added that, whichever way the council moves on this issue, it will likely have financial implications.
Councillors agreed to have the CAO look into multiple options for bylaw enforcement services and return with a report at a future meeting.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter