Dust control likely going up in Big Lakes County

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

Big Lakes County residents who want dust controlled on gravel roads in front of their properties will likely have to pay more in the coming years. Council agreed on this at its Jan. 27 meeting, although the final decision is yet to be made.

“We’re still not recovering the full costs of materials,” said reeve Ken Matthews.

The matter had come up at an earlier council meeting, as part of a bylaw proposing increases to user rates generally. Council agreed to further discuss the future of dust control as a separate item at an upcoming meeting.

Administration has recommended fees that would cover 100 per cent of the cost of calcium for the first application (up from 75 per cent); and 75 per cent for the second application (up from 50 per cent).

The cost of calcium is $494 for a 150-metre stretch of road, council heard.

Also proposed, by director of public works Vic Abel, is that the county “should add the cost of the water truck and add all the other costs until we get to full cost recovery.”

The water truck costs $26.50 per location, Abel said.

Other costs include the grader, for $68 and other labour and equipment, totaling $48.89 per location. Added up, it would come to $637.39.

Council plans to review the fees bylaw at an upcoming meeting.

In 2020, the county applied calcium for dust control in 42 locations. The second applications were canceled.

“It rained so much, we didn’t get at it until after July,” Abel said.

Records show applications for dust control have risen in the past few years. In 2017 there were 116 first applications and 49 second applications.

In 2019, those numbers were up to 142 and 62.

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