(File photo)

(File photo)

Stettler county councillors question usefulness of washboard road signs

In an effort to make drivers more aware of road conditions, the County of Stettler has deployed some new road signs around the area.

Council was informed of newly-placed “washboard” signs during the Aug. 10 meeting.

According to director of operations Rick Green, the signs were ordered as an “education tool” and placed on a roadway near Buffalo Lake.

Council, however, questioned the effectiveness of the signage.

Coun. Dave Grover commented that speed signs are ineffective for their purpose and questioned how the washboard signs would be any different.

“I like the intent, I question the effectiveness,” agreed Coun. Justin Stevens.

According to Green, Public Works staff had received a “significant number” of complaints about washboard in the area and the signs were seen as a way of hopefully getting traffic to slow down.

Coun. James Nibourg, however, agreed with Grover and Stevens, believing that some will see the signs “and do the exact opposite,” speeding up and creating a potential safety hazard.

“After a while, it becomes just like every other sign,” added Nibourg.

Coun. Grover did acknowledge that the signs might do some good, but that he would “take the grader” working the road over the signage.

Equipment dispersal

After advertising locally with no suitable interest, county council has opted instead to hold onto some surplus equipment.

Surplus items listed for auction were a 2006 Dodge Durango and a 2014 Kubota F3990 Mower. The Durango had no reserve bid, and the Kubota had a reserve bid of $8,500.

One bid came in for the Durango with an offer of $680.

“I was hoping for more,” said Green.

While not receiving a bid during the auction window, according to Green one came in after the fact with an offer of $7,000.

According to Green, a similar machine through Future Ag. is worth in between $10,000 to $15,000.

Coun. James Nibourg initially moved to sell the Durango and hang on to the Kubota as he believed council was hurting the auction process by not letting it go, but he ultimately amended it to hang on to both pieces of equipment.

Coun. Les Stulberg put forward the suggestion to sell the Durango at the consignment vehicle lot in Stettler.

Tax sale

County of Stettler council has set Dec. 1, 2022 as the tax sale date for properties in arrears.

A tax notification is placed onto a property once taxes are in arrears for 18-months to two years, with tax sales becoming an option in the third year.

To take a property to tax sale, municipalities must take certain steps, such as advertising the properties going to auction in the Alberta Gazette and the local print media.

According to the council Request for Decision in the Aug. 10 agenda package regarding the tax sale, this step is not take until “all other avenues to collect the outstanding taxes have been exhausted.”

A property owner with taxes in arrears will have until 9 a.m. the day of the tax sale to pay, in full, the outstanding balance owed. Due to the time it would take a cheque to clear, payments made day of would have to be cash or debit card.

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