Toward the beginning minutes of the Paintearth Council meeting on September 17, local resident Rosa Webber was introduced to Council to speak.
“County Administrator, County Reeve, Counsellors,” Webber began, “My husband Don and I are deeply concerned about the excessive dust on the county roads. This poses health issues, safety issues and livelihood issues for your citizens.”
Webber continued on to say that people with respiratory issues can feel the dirty air upon stepping outside, that passing large vehicles on the road elicits a brown out that reduces visibility and dust-sick animals reduce the ability to sustain a living.
“Why should we, Don and Rosa Webber, or any of our neighbours… living along the gravel road be responsible for [the cost of dust control]” she said, noting that she was informed by Assistant Superintendent of Public Works Bryce Cooke that the County did not cover costs of individual residents homes for this measure.
County responded by noting that Crescent Point (Cutpick) vehicles were required to run exclusively using Road 123, a road the energy corporation had paid for usage. Thus, noted Council, the vehicles travelling down Road 384 were not doing so under the rules outlined in the agreement between the corporation and county.
County noted that Crescent Point Energy was to be soon placing new speed signs specifically for their vehicles, with larger dimensions and more visible placement.
It was ultimately decided that County would continue to work with oil companies to funnel heavy traffic to haul roads. For contractors not following the outlined guidelines, County would ensure the situation was being monitored.
Minister meeting inquiry
County is going to inquire about securing a meeting with Minister of Transportation Ric McIver at the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties conference mid-November. The intention of speaking with McIver at the fall conference – the second of the twice yearly event – is to address issues surrounding the conditions of secondary highways in Paintearth County and Secondary Road 861 concerns.
County received and reviewed the proposals submitted for their gravel purchase, and ultimately decided to go with RE-EM Transport Services for 35,000 tonnes of 420 modified gravel, 10,000 tones of inch and a half aggregate. Motion to proceed with this purchase was carried.
Council approved the Agricultural Service Board grant to be put forward. The grant funds environmentally sustainable programs, shelterbelt, weed and pest control and other agriculturally-based initiatives.
Concern that the Castor Air Cadets were being moved to Stettler without consultation of parents and Air Cadet staff, the County sent letter of support to keep the base in Castor.
Council approved the 2014-2016 for proposed Parkland Regional budget.