By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent
After the dust cleared at the most recent County of Stettler council meeting, it became obvious a formal policy was needed for dust control requests.
In an agenda item written by county CAO Tim Fox, councilors read of the application by Darcy and Teresa Greig for dust control on a gravel road near their property, SE 36-34-21 W4M, described as being off Hwy#56, straight off to the west. Councilor Dave Grover said he had been requested to bring the issue forward.
Fox noted the County of Stettler currently doesn’t have a formal policy to handle requests from ratepayers to have dust control applied to gravel roads near their property. He said it’s been handled on a case-by-case basis.
Grover said he felt formal rules were needed. “We should come up with a policy for dust control,” said Grover.
Councilor Greg Jackson agreed, saying the time has come for an objective policy that treats everyone fairly. “I think council needs to sit down and look at this policy,” said Jackson. “The unfortunate truth is sometimes ‘no’ is the answer.”
During the meeting, councilors were told that the approximate cost of dust control, which is an application which keeps the dist on the ground rather than blowing in the air, is $2,600 per 200m for oil product, and $1,400 per 200m for calcium product. The Greig’s request was for an oil product.
In the agenda item, Fox included a list of previous dust abatement requests and what they cost.
“As you can see from the Gravel Road Dust Reduction Policy the applicant is responsible for paying for product and application costs of dust reduction when requested or required. The County covers costs for mixing and layout with County owned equipment,” stated Fox.
“Council has approved one offs for dust control costs where Council deems it is appropriate and necessary. The current policy does not set a certain criteria for such instances. Council may consider a Planning Session if it is felt necessary to address the current policy.”
The Greig’s request was approved by a 5-3 vote. Councilors also agreed to put a dust control policy on the agenda for an upcoming strategic planning session.