Joe Ilg 0

Valleyview camps

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As per the Town of Valleyview Notice of public hearing in the October 30th edition of the Valley Views paper, the town is considering rezoning industrial land use bylaw to allow portable camps within the town limits. For those who don’t know what they are, they are similar to hotels as lodging and meals are included with a daily fee for workers in the area. They are normally located well outside of town limits and that is preferable by most companies housing these workers as most are “Dry Camps” meaning no alcohol and drugs are permitted in the camp and security is provided to enforce this rule. That’s where the problem lies, most camp residents (I am hearing the first stage will house 200) will be within walking distance of drinking establishments and will without doubt make the 1 block walk to the local bars as there is not much to do in camp in the evenings, they will have drugs available to them off the camp at any time as they will be in town. Camps house many good dedicated workers but are also a first choice for some people that are homeless, fresh start out of prison, or just need to not be found for a while for any reason. I have stayed in these camps throughout Alberta and none have been in town. I am certain the crime rate will increase drastically if this development is allowed to proceed, if the development is approved it would not be limited to size or amounts of camps allowed here, we could soon be housing 1000+ in these units. Once permission is granted and the results are less than favorable they will not be removing the units we will be strapped with this problem for years. When I first heard of this camp coming here I was not concerned as I thought we had a strong presence of past or present oilfield workers in town council to refuse this development immediately without letting it get to this point, but now it will take a strong showing of people/letters/signatures against this to prevent it from coming to our town, previous towns have seen very little economic benefit from these camps as all amenities are provided to the workers although I know the bar owners and drug dealers would fare quite well. The tax dollars however could be very helpful to the town but I think the risk to the residents and property is too high and outweighs any benefit we would see. If this development is approved by the town, it would signify that they believe there are no safety issues to the residents or property by doing so. Would they be willing to sign documents assuming liability for losses due to this decision? If you are against this development we have until November 12th at 7pm to either attend the meeting or submit a letter to council stating your concerns.

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