Mulling over speed limit controls in Buffalo Lake area

Written by Stu Salkeld

County of Stettler council may consider tightening the speed limit on municipal roads in the Buffalo Lake area after a discussion on road conditions at the June 9 regular meeting of council.

The discussion began with councillors voicing their opinions about gravel roads including Twp Rd 40-4 and others around the Buffalo Lake region.

Coun. Cheri Neitz noted 40-4 has received quite a bit of county attention over the past year and suggested a speed reduction could be in order.

County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy stated complaints about certain roads, including 40-4, come into the county office and explained complaints a few years ago came in about 40-4 becoming slick when it rained. 

She stated the county addressed the problem by gravelling it with larger material which is a bit rougher to drive on but virtually eliminates the sliding issue.

Cassidy mentioned that certain speed limits could be lowered to warn people about the gravel ahead.

Director of Operations Rick Green stated Twp Rd 40-4 serves its purpose and the gravel is getting results.  He agreed that a speed reduction could be considered in the Buffalo Lake district for more than one reason, including the fact those roads are heavily used by a variety of traffic, including recreational, commercial and others.

Green also noted a key cost of a gravel road is how much gravel flies off of it which then lands in the ditch, and he pointed out traffic speed is the main factor in making gravel fly off.

Cassidy noted a county grader works on Buffalo Lake area roads every week, plus water trucks on top of that. 

Cassidy said she feels the county roads around the lake are in good shape and that summer village around the lake do not contribute financially to the upkeep of the county roads.

Neitz noted that she hasn’t heard any slick road complaints, but has heard that people are concerned about wear and tear on their tires.

Coun. Dave Grover stated he drove Twp Rd 40-4 just a few days before and he has roads in his division that are a lot worse.

Reeve Larry Clarke stated dropping speed limits may be in order as he drove the road out of Ol’ McDonald’s campground at 50 km/hr and had no problems at all.

Councillors passed a resolution to send a letter to the Summer Village of White Sands requesting the two municipalities meet sooner than planned to discuss a joint agreement due to complaints about roads from the summer village residents.

Councillors also approved a resolution that county staff return to a future meeting with options for dropping the speed limits on county roads in the Buffalo Lake region.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.