Big Lakes County adopts updated rural addressing bylaw

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Rural addressing in Big Lakes County will be improved as council updates an aging bylaw to direct the program.

At its regular meeting Jan. 24, council adopted the revised municipal addressing bylaw.

“Nothing has changed since the bylaw was at the last council meeting,” says Pat Olansky, director of community services and planning.

Second second reading to the draft bylaw was given by council at its regular meeting Jan. 10.

“Council discussed whether it should be the county or the developer responsible for the purchase and installation of address signs in new subdivisions,” Olansky says.

It was generally agreed that developers would be responsible for the signs, she notes.

“The county would order and cover the cost of the signs and posts,” Olansky says.

“Council discussed adding the cost to the subdivision application fees for cost recovery.”

The estimated cost of a sign and post is $42, which does not include shipping.

She says the county’s schedule of fees bylaw would be brought back to council at an upcoming meeting to add the new fee.

Besides minor changes, several new points have been added to the bylaw.

Signs will be installed by county staff as time permits.

“When a municipal address sign is requested where it is otherwise not required or stated within the bylaw, the property owner will be responsible for the signage costs,” Olansky says.

Signs that need to be replaced though no fault of the property owner – such as signs that are faded or knocked down by a vehicle – are the responsibility of the county to purchase and install.

Sections 21-28 of the bylaw have been updated to include correct legal language for issuing violation tickets if necessary.

It is recommended the county be allowed the ability to issue violation tickets for offenders who fail to post an address sign, deface, damage or remove an address sign, Olansky says.

Kinuso has also been added to the bylaw that was revised from the original bylaw adopted in 2006 when Kinuso was a village with its own bylaws.

At the regular meeting Nov. 22, council directed administration to review the bylaw.

After the community of Kinuso dissolved as a village in 2009, addressing was inconsistent with the rest of the hamlets in the county and the provincially-endorsed municipal address system, Olansky states in her report at the Nov. 22 meeting.

“Administration began to re-address Kinuso in the years since dissolution, however this project remains substantially incomplete,” Olansky says.

Council also directed administration to prepare a cost estimate to purchase and install municipal address signs for areas missing rural addressing signage in the county for the 2024 budget.

During discussion at that meeting, many council members stated they want to ensure addresses are accurate to aid emergency services and utility companies.

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