Private landowner snow removal

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Farmers and oil contractors within the County of Stettler are being encouraged to communicate with the County in an effort to keep roadways in top condition.

On Tues. Nov. 13 at the regular council meeting, the provision to prohibit the general snow ploughing on

County roads were carried and to reiterate that no one is allowed to remove snow unless authorized by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

These provisions have been put in place to ensure roadways are not damaged which could ultimately cost the county the work to fix any issues.

In case of emergency, this policy would be void as they don’t want to be too ‘stickler’.

If, however, on a regular basis if someone were to plough the road with their tractor, the result will be to pay for damages to the road, whatever the case may be.

A phone call would help alleviate any issues as it gives the public works director a chance to see where the crews are currently working and where to direct them if there is an urgent place that needs to be ploughed out.

“I have been in that position where you have to feed your cattle. No one is going to stop a farmer from getting to their animals. We will work with them,” said CAO Yvette Cassidy.

The Policy and Procedures Committee reviewed the Snow Plowing Service Standards as well. They found that graders were going out to remove snow as the policy states anything over 15 centimetres must be ploughed but it wasn’t specified if it should be fluffy and light or solid snow. Compacted snow is drivable and is standard across the province to have it cleared before it starts to melt.

The word ‘compacted’ was added to ensure crews are removing snow that must be done rather than light snow that can be held off on.

The order of priority doesn’t change except for school bus routes.

The map for school bus routes has currently increased to include most roads in the county.

Removing this expectation of making all school bus routes a priority will give public works flexibility in the pattern they plow snow as jumping around makes removal time longer and impractical.

“We can be sending out graders when it’s not necessarily quite a bit,” said Rick Green, Director of Engineering and Public Works.

The motion to adopt this was carried.

Snow plough services to private property

Grade and Snow Plow Services to Private Property policy went before the Policy and Procedures Committee for comment on Oct. 25, 2018.

A clause that sparked debate amongst council was the new addition of a possible charge of $200 to residents that need their laneways ploughed out.

The Policy Committee discussed that laneways were one of the items in the budget survey that people felt could be cut back on.

The money collected would, at the very least, cover the expenses of ordering the flags, staff time and fuel it requires to inspect each driveway and issue a flag.

Currently, 550 to 600 residents utilize this service but people who live in the hamlets don’t have that luxury.

“It might reduce some of the frivolous requests,” said Coun. James Nibourg.

The application would be done on an annual basis as circumstances or owners may have changed hands.

“I’m glad to see the motion isn’t to abolish, a fee for admin is acceptable,” said Coun. Les Stulberg.

Council set an effective start date for Jan. 1, 2019 and changed the fee to $100 for the first year.

Rural Crime Prevention magnet

The County of Stettler received a request from the Rural Crime Committee to create an educational magnet and distribute it through the County Connection Magazine, explaining when to call County Bylaw officers; when to call 911 and when to call RCMP dispatch.

The magnet would also have a place to write the resident’s rural address.

At the October committee meeting, Rural Crime requested this project by having 5,000 magnets issued.

The idea would be to have 2,500 magnets for insertion in the magazine and 2,500 for bylaw officers and police officers to distribute.

The second option of 5,000 magnets printed in full colour but a size of 4”x7” would cost the county $4,935.

The committees budget can fund approximately $3,800 of this project with activities already planned for this budget line for the remainder of the year included.

Council agreed to have the remainder of this project covered by the rural development fund.

Protective Services has a goal to increase the visibility of Protective Services in the community assisting with the reduction of rural crime in the County.

Land locations are not helpful to emergency services so the blue signs should be remembered.

The magnets would put extra focus on reporting suspicious activity which can create an unattractive environment for criminals if the community is educated.

Council felt the 4”x 7” is a practical size compared to the larger one and they asked administration to come back with a draft of what magnet would look like.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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