According to County of Stettler Coun. Justin Stevens, he has been getting lots of phone calls and emails regarding the roads bans in place near White Sands.
Stevens informed council of this during the section in the Sept. 14 council meeting where councillors can request more information on topics.
“I think it’s prudent we explain the situation a little more,” said Stevens.
Chief administrative officer Yvette Cassidy took over at that point, noting that due to the traffic, and heavy loads, on that road, the county was sending graders out to it two to three times a week just to keep it safe to travel.
“It’s not really fair that one section of road gets three times the care than elsewhere in county,” said Cassidy.
“Since we put the bans on, we’re down to once a week, once every two weeks.”
According to Cassidy, the roads were essentially failing and the county was forced to take measures with the tools they had available. The road bans were one such tool.
Reeve Larry Clarke noted that the majority of the complaints received so far are coming from White Sands residents. He also noted that the roads are basically jointly used with White Sands, but White Sands has never contributed to their upkeep.
“Joint use doesn’t mean one party pays and everybody uses,” said Coun. Justin Stevens.
Coun. Les Stulberg agreed.
“If the municipality of White Sands were to contribute, we could get the roads into better shape and remove the bans,” Stulberg said.
The topic of roads also gave way to the topic of the sewage lagoon in White Sands.
“The County of Stettler is paying the whole portion of running the lagoons, and running the roads,” said Coun. Nibourg.
“Either start paying or don’t complain about it. I thought we were going to communicate that to (the municipal councils). They are sticking their head in the sand. Their councils have a decision to make.”
The sewage lagoon in White Sands was made possible through a grant, according to Coun. Stevens. However, once built the structure still needs to be maintained and updated, all of which costs money.
“When do we say enough is enough, that we can’t do this any more?” asked Stevens.
Coun. Ernie Gendre directed administration to send a letter about the complaints and funding to the White Sands municipal council.
Ag. Services Board purchase
Council has approved the purchase of a new tri-axle trailer for hauling a side by side.
The 30-foot goose-neck trailer will allow “better versatility” and “room on the deck” for carrying a wide selection of equipment than some of the other trailer options.
Unfortunately, as has everything else, the price for the trailer has ballooned past the $18,000 budgeted for the purchase.
The cost for the trailer is coming in at $21,500, a cost being absorbed from Ag. Service Board reserves.
Administration felt that it was important to make the purchase this fall so that the trailer could be customized over the winter and put into service in the spring. Deferring the purchase to 2023 would have meant the trailer would likely not have been put into use until spring of 2024.
Still, not all councillors were on board with the purchase, noting that due to the friction when turning tri-axle trailers are extremely hard on tires and require extra maintenance.
When it came time to call the vote, the motion put forward by Coun. Les Stulberg was carried with Reeve Clarke, Coun. Paul McKay and Ernie Gendre voting in opposition to the purchase.
Stettler Ag. Society
County Council is supporting a bid by the Stettler and District Ag. Society for a grant with which to host the 2023 High School Rodeo finals in their new outdoor arena.
“I fully support this,” said Nibourg, motioning for administration to provide a letter of support.