Off-highway vehicle bylaw solidified

Written by Terri Huxley

Starland County has implemented an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) bylaw after all three motions were passed at their regular meeting on Wed. March 10.

Community Peace Officer (CPO) Gareth Thomas drafted the bylaw with much of its contents coming from the provincial Traffic Safety Act (TSA).

A highway is considered any thoroughfare, street, road, trail, avenue, bridge, ditch, etc.

Reeve Steve Wannstrom noted that larger signage should be displayed at the campgrounds to alert OHV operators they are not allowed to drive within the campgrounds especially the Morrin Bridge Campground, Michichi Recreation Area and now Tolman as they take over operations.

New signage is already in the works.

Coun. Jackie Watts noted snowmobile rallies are prominent in the Rumsey-Rowley area with many of the events passing through hamlets and villages.

With the bylaw in place, community organizations are asked to contact the county office to get a permit to authorize the event or else they could be fined.

Administration agreed to contact local organizations to alert them of the new bylaw restrictions.

If someone has an OHV and wants to use it within a municipality, they are asked to take the most direct route out of town, not to cruise around.

As for farmers and ranchers, they are exempt under the TSA for purposes such as using a quad to move cattle.

Administration shared that the CPO wouldn’t stop and ticket them unless they were doing something dangerous like stunting.

The bylaw came into effect March 10.

Long term service awards

Since Starland was unable to hold their long-term service awards at the annual county picnic or Christmas event, they chose council’s regular meeting to do so.

For staff, Cody Schatz was handed his five-year award.

Colby Black, Matthew Kreke and Thomas Hodge were awarded their 10-year recognition while Gary Collins was awarded his 20-year award.

Awards for council members were done on a 3-year council term which has yet to be adjusted for the four-year terms now instated.

Jackie Watts and John Rew were given their 3-year award. Bob Sargent was given his 9-year award and Steve Wannstrom and Murray Marshall were given their 12-year awards.

Michichi seasonal sites 

Council took a fresh look at the amended proposed regulations and rates for rent of sites at the Michichi Campground.

Administration changed the off-season price per day to $35 if vehicles are left on site after Oct. 31.

People can only remain with written consent to do so from the county.

As for standard decks, they are now restricted to the rear of the lots and must be of certain materials that are portable.

Council accepted the new agreement as presented.

Employee vehicle usage policy

One supervisor, the Manager of Municipal Services is authorized to take their county vehicle home as per the new revisions of the employee use of municipal vehicles and facilities policy which was reviewed and approved as presented by council.

A taxable benefit for this employee will be calculated annually.

The employees authorized to take home their vehicles must provide a daily log for record purposes.

If employees must take a work vehicle home, they are asked to acquire permission from a supervisor first.

Procedural bylaw discussion

Council has been tossing around the idea of instilling a procedural bylaw for council itself to follow.

A procedural bylaw regulates the proceedings and conduct of meetings of council, council committees, and other bodies established by council.

Council went through line items within it for discussion, aiming for a more relaxed feel.

Adjustments were asked to be made so council will see the next version at an upcoming meeting where it can be possibly passed.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.