Order by the C.A.O. of Big Lakes County
Bridge Closure No. BC-2020-01 Defining Closure of Bridge (s) on certain Big Lakes County Roads Pursuant to the Authority granted by By-Law # 41-2007 the Chief Administrative Officer orders that effective 8:00 a.m. Thursday, July 2, 2020 The following bridge(s) will be closed to public travel:
Bridge File 80690
Carrying a Local Road Over Coalmine Lick Creek at Township Road 722, east of Range Road 180.
This Order shall remain in effect until further notice.
In 2020 Big Lakes County will be subsidizing the cost of calcium chloride rejuvenation. County residents who have received one application this season and wish to receive a second application of dust control applied to the same portion of roadway adjacent to their residence must complete an application and pay an application fee.
For a minimum fee of $290.00 + GST, the applicants will receive one re-application of calcium chloride dust suppressant, which will be applied to approximately 150 metres of road surface.
Application forms are available at:
Big Lakes County
5305 – 56 Street
High Prairie, AB T0G 1E0
Phone: (780) 523-5955
As well, County residents who did not meet the original deadline can apply for one application of dust control at the minimum fee of $440.00 + GST for approximately 150 metres.
Completed applications will be received until FRIDAY, July 31, 2020.
NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Big Lakes County installed flashing crosswalk signs at the intersection of Peace River Avenue and Lakeshore Drive in the Hamlet of Joussard. The speed limit was also reduced from 50 km/hr to 40km/hr with the exemption of the following sections of road: Township Road 735A from Highway 2 east approximately 590m to the Hamlet of Joussard boundary; Range Road 134 from Highway 2 north approximately 1.8 km; Range Road 142 from Highway 2 north to Township Road 742A; Township Road 742A from Range Road 142 east to Range Road 140; and Range Road 140 from Township Road 742A north to the end of municipal roadway.
These traffic safety measures were advocated by the Joussard Community Association and supported by a community input meeting held on October 2, 2019. The meeting was an opportunity for Joussard residents to voice their opinions on the proposed changes. The results from the questionnaire handed out during the meeting indicated that 32 residents approved the removal of the stop signs as opposed to 16 who were against it. Furthermore, 26 residents approved the speed limit reducing to 40km/hr on Peace River Ave from Range Road 140 east to Shadow Creek Resort as opposed to 25 who were against it.
Richard Simard, Reeve of Big Lakes County and President of the Joussard Community Association said, “Our Association is very pleased with not only the results but with the turnout at the community meeting. One of our goals as an Association has always been to work with the residents of Joussard to build a safer community, and I feel that we are stepping in the right direction.”
Victoria Zahacy, Communications Coordinator
(780) 523 5955
Big Lakes County is pleased to announce that Provincial Highways within the County will benefit from the Government of Alberta’s investment to get Alberta back to work. In response to the COVID-19 recession, the province announced that they are allocating almost $2 billion from the 2020 Capital Plan to resurface roads, repair bridges, restore schools, and fill potholes.
“Big Lakes County is very grateful that Alberta Transportation has chosen to repair roads and culverts within our County,” said Big Lakes County Reeve Richard Simard. “As many of us know, these much-needed repairs will improve the driving conditions and the safety of drivers traveling on these roads.”
Alberta Transportation has awarded a contract to E Construction to repair multiple culverts and pave roads within the County. Construction has commenced and is expected to be complete by late summer 2020. Work entails:
- Paving of 27.5 kilometres of Highway 2A from Highway 49 to Highway 2
- Milling and paving of 3.5 kilometres of Highway 49 from Highway 2A to South of the Little Smoky River
- Milling and paving of 11.5 kilometres of Highway 2 from west of Highway 33 to east of Highway 33
- Milling and paving of Spruce Street into Faust and Range Road 101A into Kinuso
- Various paver patches on Highway 749 from south of Township Road 740 to High Prairie
- Slide repair on Highway 2A
- Slide repair on Highway 747
- Intersection improvement at Highway 2A/Highway 747
- Various culvert replacements
Safety for workers is paramount and everyone’s responsibility. Slow traffic and delays should be expected. Please follow the signs and reduce your speed when driving through road construction sites. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these projects, please contact Vic Abel, Director of Public Works at 780-523-5955.
Victoria Zahacy, Communications Coordinator
(780) 523 5955
Beginning in September, all-day school zones in Big Lakes County will be in effect from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a maximum speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour on school days.
On May 13th, Council voted for an amendment to the Speed Limit Bylaw to extend school zone times for all schools within the County boundary, including Joussard School, Kinuso School, and Grouard Northland School.
“The health and safety of our residents is always a top priority,” said Reeve Richard Simard. “Council appreciates the support and recommendation by the High Prairie School Division in implementing these changes.”
Big Lakes County currently follows the provincial standard for school zone times on school days: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, the High Prairie School Division, in conjunction with the High Prairie and Area Traffic Safety Coalition, believe consolidating the school zones into one daylong time increases the safety for children and lessons uncertainty for commuters.
Big Lakes County will be working closely with stakeholders to communicate the school zone time change to local drivers. The County will also be ensuring the new effective times are displayed at every school zone in the County. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Vic Abel, Director of Public Works, at 780-523-5955.
Victoria Zahacy, Communications Coordinator
(780) 523 5955
When the Province declared a Public Health Emergency on March 17th, Big Lakes County’s Emergency Coordination Centre, made the decision to close several facilities and services in order to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff. These decisions mirrored the guidelines put in place by the Province, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
On April 30th, the Province announced the Alberta COVID-19 Relaunch Strategy. This strategy puts safety first, while gradually re-opening businesses and activities to the public and getting people back to work. Big Lakes County has responded to the Province’s efforts, by developing a COVID-19 Operational Plan for re-opening public facilities and services. As always, our plan places the health and safety of our residents and staff as a top priority.
Changes to County Operations
Big Lakes County Administration Building & FCSS Offices – UPDATE
Effective Tuesday, May 19, 2020, the Big Lakes County Administration Building in High Prairie will be open to the public. However, we still encourage residents to continue to use alternative payment methods such as mailing in cheques, online banking, etc., to help eliminate the amount of traffic in the office. Effective Tuesday, May 19, 2020, the Big Lakes Family and Community Support Services Offices will be open by appointment only. To book an appointment with a FCSS Outreach Worker, please call:
- Kinuso at 780-775-3666
- Faust at 780-355-3896
- Joussard at 780-776-3811
- Grouard at 780-751-3806
- Enilda at 780-523-5925
- High Prairie at 780-536-0062
Effective Monday, June 1, 2020, the Big Lakes County Administration Building in Kinuso will be open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The health and safety of our staff and residents is our top priority. Therefore, please do not visit our offices if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition.
Please be advised of the following mitigation procedures:
- The number of individuals within the main Administration Building lobby shall be restricted to 6 at any one time
- Hand sanitizer is located at all entry points of the facilities for use upon entry
- Members of the public shall maintain a 2-meter separation as indicated by markings placed on the lobby floor
- Physical barriers have been installed at the main reception desks
- Countertops and debit machines will be sanitized after each use
- Public washrooms located in Administration Buildings and FCSS Offices are closed
- Businesses cards, pamphlets, reports, etc., have been removed from the reception desks; however, they are available upon request
Big Lakes FCSS Bus – CANCELLED
Trips on the Big Lakes County bus are cancelled until further notice. If someone needs assistance in making other travel arrangements for critical medical needs, please contact Nicole Hanna, FCSS Manager at 780-776-0008.
Big Lakes FCSS Faust Afterschool Youth Program – CANCELLED
The Faust Afterschool Youth Program is cancelled until further notice.
Utility Penalties – UPDATE
During the May 13, 2020, regular Council meeting, Council made the motion to not waive utility bill penalties for June and July 2020. Therefore, we ask that residents continue to pay their utility bills when they are due or be subject to penalties.
Take-it or Leave-it – CLOSED
Big Lakes County take-it or leave-it sites located at our transfer stations are closed to the public until further notice.
Scheduled Meetings – UPDATE
While we are in a state of public health emergency as declared by the Province of Alberta, Big Lakes County Council meetings and Municipal Planning Commission meetings will be conducted only by electronic means through the ZOOM platform, which will be streamed. To view the meetings, please visit our website. If you wish to schedule a meeting with Council or staff, please call the Administration Office at 780-523-5955.
Return of Service Bursary – POSTPONED
The deadline for the Return of Service Bursary for post-secondary students has been postponed to July 15, 2020. To apply visit: https://bit.ly/2X0bebc
Kinuso Municipal Library & Kinosayo Museum – CLOSED
The Kinuso Municipal Library and Kinosayo Museum are closed until further notice.
Private and Municipal Campgrounds – UPDATE
The Province of Alberta has published a Guidance for Private and Municipal Campgrounds to follow in order to re-open and resume operations safely. Big Lakes County requests that all private campgrounds implement and follow these guidelines: https://bit.ly/2Z5L7lU
As the health and safety for residents and visitors remains a top priority, campground operators are required to develop and implement policies and procedures before re-opening or continuing operations after May 1, 2020, outlined in the Covid-19 Work Place Guidance for Business Owners document: https://bit.ly/2Atomy9
Playgrounds – CLOSED
Big Lakes County continues to recommend that playground areas/play structures remain closed during the Pandemic. In the Province’s guidelines for private campgrounds, playgrounds are no longer restricted; however, AHS recommend the playground areas be closed unless the owner can assure:
- Structures can be disinfected on a regular basis (every 3 hours)
- Physical distancing can be maintained between users
- Maximum 15 people attend the playground at one time
Public Recreation Sites – CLOSED
All public recreation sites, including the Kinuso Park, are closed until further notice.
Pathways & Walkways – OPEN
Pathways and walkways are open to the public. When using these walkways, it is extremely important to adhere to physical distancing guidelines and keep a distance of at least 2 meters from others.
Changes to Upcoming Events
Big Lakes County Council has made the difficult decision to postpone and cancel some of the following summer events in Big Lakes County:
- Volunteer Appreciation Week Events – POSTPONED
- Joussard Water Treatment Plant & FCSS Grand Opening – POSTPONED
- Seniors Week – POSTPONED
- Hamlet Clean-Up – POSTPONED
- 7th Annual Big Lakes Charity Golf Tournament – CANCELLED
- Annual Ratepayer BBQ scheduled – CANCELLED
Help Prevent the Spread
All Albertans have a responsibility to help prevent the spread. Take steps to protect yourself and others:
- practice physical distancing
- practice good hygiene: wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching face
- monitor for symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat
- self-isolate for the legally-required 10 days if you have any symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or medical condition
- take the COVID-19 self-assessment
Important Updates from Credible Sources
- Alberta’s situation and action plan
- Alberta Health Services latest health information and advice for Alberta
- Cases of COVID-19 in Canada and around the world
- Review emergency updates from the World Health Organization
- Mental Health Help Line: 1-877-303-2642
- Crisis Services Canada
As always, Big Lakes County will continue to operate our core services including, Fire Services, Utilities, Solid Waste, Airports, and Road Safety throughout the duration of this Pandemic.
As we begin the process of re-launching businesses, services, and facilities, we ask that everyone please continue to respect the Provincial Public Health Orders, please respect one another, and please stay safe and stay healthy.
Big Lakes County Reeve
For more information, please contact:
Victoria Zahacy, Big Lakes County Communications Coordinator
Big Lakes County has been granted $148,700 from the Alberta Government’s Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program. This funding has allowed the County to partner with Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) Canada, which aims to assist area producers with the implementation of projects that provide ecosystem services like off-site watering, riparian buffers, and fencing off creeks and wetland areas.
“Big Lakes County is pleased to partner with ALUS Canada to deliver this program to the producers in our community,” said Reeve Richard Simard. “We believe that a community-developed, farmer-delivered ALUS program will enable Big Lakes County to invest in farmers and ranchers who are producing acres of clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, and other ecosystem services.”
Through the ALUS program, Big Lakes County hired ALUS Coordinator, Kendra Kozdroski in February 2020. “My hope for this program in Big Lakes County is to help educate and guide residents to see the value in their land. This program provides numerous ecosystem services for a community, such as clean water, erosion control, and flood mitigation, which I view as extremely important for the County. I cannot wait to start working with producers to put their dreams into action,” said Ms. Kozdroski.
Victoria Zahacy, Communications Coordinator
(780) 523 5955
The following development permits have been approved under the terms of the Big Lakes County Land Use Bylaw No. 03-2017:
Legal Land Description
Sea Can Office Building (Discretionary Use)
Lot 1, Block 1, Plan 152 2827 (Within NE 19-74-16-W5)
Any persons affected by this decision may appeal to the Secretary, Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, Box 239, High Prairie, Alberta. Such an appeal shall be in writing stating grounds for the appeal and delivered personally or by registered mail on or before May 20, 2020 with a copy to the Development Officer, Box 239, High Prairie, Alberta. An application fee of $250.00 per appeal shall apply.
Pursuant to S. 685(3) of the Municipal Government Act, no appeal lies in respect of a development permit for a permitted use unless the provisions of the land use bylaw were relaxed, varied, or misinterpreted.
Pat Olansky, Director of Planning & Development
Big Lakes County Council Meetings
The next Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be conducted in the Council Chambers of the Big Lakes County Administration office.
Municipal Planning Commission Meeting
The next MPC Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will be conducted in the Council Chambers of the Big Lakes County Administration office.
Upcoming Public Hearings
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING - LAND USE BYLAW AMENDMENT
Council for Big Lakes County is considering a proposed amendment to the Big Lakes County Land Use Bylaw No. 03-2017. The purpose of proposed Bylaw No. 11-2020 is to re-district SE 09-74-17-W5 from the Agriculture (AG) District to Rural Industrial (RI) District as shown on the accompanying sketch
SE 09-74-17-W5 Proposed re-districting from Agriculture (AG) District to Rural Industrial (RI) District as shown on the above sketch.Copies of the proposed Land Use Bylaw Amendment may be examined by contacting the office of the County Administration Building between the hours of 8:15 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Any person, group of persons, or person representing them who claims to be affected by the proposed bylaw amendment may make an oral or written submission to Council for consideration. If you would like to make a presentation to Council, contact Big Lakes County at 780-523-5955. The Public Hearing will be held on July 08, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Big Lakes County Ad-ministration Office. Council will consider any oral or written presentations with respect to the proposed Land Use Bylaw amendment. For more information contact Pat Olansky, Director of Planning & Development, at 780-523-5955.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING – LAND USE BYLAW AMENDMENT
Council for Big Lakes County is considering proposed amendments to the Big Lakes County Land Use Bylaw No. 03-2017. The purpose of proposed Bylaw No. 14-2020 is to amend the following sections in order to be consistent with Big Lakes County’s Public Notification Bylaw No. 15-2019 to give administration the flexibility to use a variety of notification methods while being compliant with the MGA (Section 606).
➢ Section 3.5.1(b) notification of an application being considered for a discretionary use, or a permitted use with a variance to a quantitative requirement such as a setback distance.
➢ Section 3.6.3(a) notification of a notice of an approval decision on a development permit.
➢ Section 4.3.4(a)(ii) publication of a notice of public hearing to amend the bylaw.
Additionally, Council is proposing to amend Section 3.14.1(b) requiring that all LUB amendment applications that are not of a punctuation or grammatical nature be provided to adjacent municipalities only if deemed necessary.
Copies of the proposed Land Use Bylaw Amendment may be examined in the office of the County Administration Building between the hours of 8:15 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Any person, group of persons, or person representing them who claims to be affected by the proposed bylaw amendment may make an oral or written submission to Council for consideration. If you would like to make a presentation to Council, contact Big Lakes County at 780-523-5955. The Public Hearing will be held on July 8, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Big Lakes County Administration Office. For additional information, contact County Administration at 780-523-5955.
In response to recent precipitation in many areas of the province, the fire ban in the Forest Protection Area has been revoked and a fire advisory has been put on in its place. A fire advisory means Albertans in the Forest Protection Area can safely enjoy the use of a fire pit in their backyard, charcoal briquettes on a barbecue, or a safe campfire.
- safe wood campfires on public land, private land or in provincial campgrounds as long as they are inside an engineered campfire ring
- backyard fire pits
- charcoal briquette barbecues
- use of propane, natural gas or powered appliance
- catalytic or infrared-style heaters
- safe burning with a permit
- recreational off-highway vehicle use
- burning (excluding campfires) without a permit
- unattended or unsafe campfires
- fireworks and exploding targets
Restrictions can be phased back in as necessary to address wildfire risk area-by-area, allowing Albertans the freedom to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. We will re-evaluate daily.
We expect this fire advisory to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires in Alberta, while allowing Albertans to enjoy outdoor activities as much as possible.
Stay tuned to www.albertafirebans.ca throughout the wildfire season for more information about fire bans and restrictions in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta.