Village of Big Valley will work with resident on sewer repairs

Big Valley Village Office and Library
Written by Stu Salkeld

The Village of Big Valley will offer to work with a property owner on a sewer line problem after it became clear the problem also involved municipal property. 

The decision was made at the Sept. 23 regular meeting of council.

Councillors read a letter of request from a resident on 4th Ave. who recently had serious sewer line issues and was requesting the village replace the line; later in the meeting the request was described as a “cost share.”

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Tracy Mindus stated an underground video examination was done by the resident on the line and she initially recommended tabling the issue until the video was examined by an engineer.

Public Works Foreman Nick Dubitz reported to council that it appeared the residence in question suffered a sewer back-up which was then rotor-rooted and video recorded. 

Dubitz stated he watched the video and said in his opinion the line didn’t look very good, that the entire line has some issues and some of those issues appear to be on village property.

Mayor Clark German stated there was no doubt there are issues on the village’s side of this sewer hook-up and it’s not just a resident issue.

Coun. Art Tizzard noted he felt it would be cheaper now to fix the sewer line than to wait until something happens in the winter when the ground is frozen.

Dubitz explained to councillors it looked like at least part of the problem involved a sewer line connector popular from about 1950 to 1985 and noted other hook-ups on that avenue use those connectors.

Mindus clarified the area in question is 4th Ave. between 2nd and 3rd Street which includes seven residences.

Councillors also discussed having the village conduct their own camera work, which Dubitz estimated could cost up to $500 per residence. The Public Works foreman also noted no paving is scheduled for that street, only asphalt patching.

Coun. Harry Nibourg mentioned several times during the discussion the sewer issue should be fixed before any paving is done on the street, noting it was silly to pay for new pavement then dig it up to replace sewer lines.

Mindus stated the sewer work, depending on scope, would qualify for Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding from the provincial government and recommended this information be forwarded to a consultant the village has contracted to conduct an infrastructure study in the village.

Councillors also discussed the possibility that other residents in that area may be in the same situation as the letter writer.

They unanimously passed a motion that the village discuss cost sharing with the letter writer on the sewer line problem in question and that this issue be included in the aforementioned infrastructure study as a priority.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.