County's revised dust control policy formally ends free service for some
Mountain View County council’s policies and priorities committee gave a strong thumbs-up to a revised dust control policy that formalizes council’s decision last year to end the free service for residents living within 50 metres of a gravel road.
The revised policy also removes any reference to traffic counts, which were ordered under the old policy to determine if a 200-vehicle-per-day threshold for dust control had been reached.
“That has been removed … to bring it in line with the business plan and the finances provided for 2012,” operational services director Michael MacLean told P&P during Wednesday’s meeting.
Another change is the addition of a “good neighbour” clause that will enable industries that are not governed under road-use agreements to provide dust control under the same shared cost formula as residents.
“At the end of the day, residents benefit,” MacLean said. “If that’s the case we would provide it at a residential cost.”
Under the program, residents pick up the cost of materials ($2.62 per metre) while the county provides labour and equipment, valued at about $2.50 per metre.
The free service was introduced in 2010, with 230 residents qualifying when it was cancelled in February the following year. At the time, 91 other residents requested dust control under the county’s cost-sharing formula, and last week MacLean said the number of applicants this year was sitting at more than 130.
The revised policy and procedure document “reflects a lot more what our ratepayers are looking for,” Div. 1 Coun. Kevin Good said. “The biggest point of contention is ‘he gets it for free and we have to pay.’ ”
Councillors extended kudos to MacLean and his staff for the work done revising the document and their timely responses to action calls.
The amended document also changes the name of the service from dust control to dust suppression, which makes it consistent with the names of products used by the county, MacLean said.