County of Stettler ratepayers relying on the county to plow their private driveways will be needing to dig a little deeper into their wallets once the snow flies again.
During the June 12 council meeting, county administration presented several changes to the municipality’s Laneway Snowplowing Policy which were subsequently approved.
According to the request for council decision (RCD), the move will bring fees associated with snow removal more closely to a cost recovery model than they were previously.
Previously, ratepayers paid a $100 per season application fee and $50 per quarter-mile for the county to plow private driveways during winter time.
With the approval of the new policy and the associated updated Fee Bylaw, the rate is moving to a $100 Administration, Application, and Inspection Fee, to be paid at the start of the winter season plus $100 for the first one-quarter kilometre followed by $50 for every quarter kilometre after that, on each occurrence that the driveway needs to be plowed.
The new policy notes that the fee at the start of the season is non-refundable.
Under section 2.4 of the policy, either the Administration, Application, and Inspection Fee or the service fees, or both, may be waived at the direction of the chief administrative officer in the case of “emergencies, hardship, and other special considerations.”
Range Road 21-2 speed limit
Following a recent public engagement session hosted at Buffalo Lake, council had the speed limit on Range Road 21-2 brought back for discussion during a meeting.
The formerly paved road was returned to gravel in 2020 due to “significant deterioration.” In an effort to further help preserve the road leading to Ol’ MacDonalds Resort, it was reduced to 50 km/h.
“We put the speed limit down to save the road,” said Coun. Dave Grover. “I’ve had a few conversations with ratepayers and they want it opened right up.”
Since the road is a major connector to the lake, it sees “significant” tourist traffic as well as agricultural traffic.
“It’s not speed, it’s the volume of traffic,” said Coun. Justin Stevens. “You get that volume of vehicles on that road every weekend, the road is going to deteriorate.”
While a comprehensive traffic report for the area around the lake is being undertaken, it is not yet complete. Council was wary of increasing the speed limit back up to 80 km/h without having complete information, particularly if it could cause further road deterioration.
“I’m not in favour of opening it back up,” said Grover.
However, council did agree that a prolonged stretch of 50 km/h would likely see drivers doing higher than that anyway, so in a carried motion by Stevens the speed limit was raised to 60 km/h until the traffic report can be reviewed.
The section of road affected by the speed change is a roughly two-kilometre stretch leading into Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort.
Byemoor war memorial
Council has approved, in principle, a lease with the Byemoor Cemetery Club which would allow for the installation of a bronze War Memorial for the community on county-owned property.
The location selected for the memorial installation will be a public area near the Byemoor Hotel and will be funded by the club.
According to an email from the club, which was attached to the RCD, the plan will be to have the statue installed sometime in 2024.