Stettler County hears taxpayer not happy with speed limit decision

A councillor voiced his concern that acreages near town are discouraging business in the County of Stettler at the regular meeting April 14. ECA Review/File
Written by Stu Salkeld

A County of Stettler taxpayer wasn’t happy with the decision not to lower a speed limit past his property. 

The fellow made a presentation by teleconference at the Aug. 12 regular meeting of council.

Dustin Stauffer spoke to council as a delegation regarding his request last May to have the speed limit on the gravel road, Township Road 38-2 west of Range Road 21-2, passing his residence lowered. 

His request to have the speed limit lowered from 80 km/hr to 50 km/hr was defeated in a council vote.

Read the original story HERE:

Stauffer said he wanted to speak to councillors about the issue again, noting the gravel road past his house is very busy, including with industry traffic.

“This is a haul road,” said Stauffer. “This is a very, very busy road.” 

County staff at the meeting stated the road is classified as a resource road.

He stated that he has children playing in his yard and he’s had alarming instances when passing gravel trucks have tossed stones into his yard.

He provided councillors with a video he shot of a County of Stettler gravel truck passing his yard and tossing stones into his yard.

Stauffer stated “Children at play” signs are only effective to a certain point, as motorists don’t have to follow them.

He said a major reason why he wanted to talk to councillors again is because council recently lowered the speed limit on RR #21-2, near the Ol’ MacDonald’s campground. 

Stauffer stated it appears his request was turned down because it would set a precedent and therefore he didn’t understand why one speed limit was lowered and another wasn’t. 

Stauffer asked councillors if they make their decisions objectively or subjectively.

Coun. Les Stulburg asked if Stauffer had considered dust control for the road outside his yard. 

Stauffer answered yes, he had considered it.

Coun. Ernie Gendre stated that the speed limit on 21-2 was lowered because the road was having its pavement ripped up and the surface returned to gravel.

Coun. Cheri Neitz agreed, stating the decision on lowering the speed limit on 21-2 was based on the condition of the road.

Reeve Larry Clark stated that the pavement on 21-2 was originally partially paid for by a private business. 

Clarke also stated he lives near Hwy. #12 and would love to see the speed limit lowered on that highway, but probably won’t see that happen.

Coun. James Nibourg stated he may have been opposed to lowering the speed limit before but isn’t any longer, as the county may have already set a precedent by lowering a speed limit as s form of dust control.

Stulburg stated he felt that lowering the speed limit on 21-2 wasn’t just to control dust for residents, but for safety of all motorists on the road.

County Chief Administrative Officer Yvette Cassidy stated she felt that if a speed limit is lowered, it should be lowered for the entire road section, not just in front of one house, as sudden speed changes can be confusing for motorists and difficult to enforce for peace officers.

Coun. Wayne Nixon stated he recalled Stauffer’s original request and noted Stauffer’s house appeared to be set back a safe distance from the gravel road and that councillors looked at the request objectively. He also stated that if a drop was approved, he felt 80 km/hr to 70 km/hr was acceptable, but 50 km/hr as too much.

Councillors did not make any motion in regards to Stauffer’s presentation.


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.