Graders, ditch mowing, dust control discussed at RM of Montmartre

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The RM of Montmartre is down a couple of graders and was still waiting on the arrival of a recently-purchased replacement as of council’s monthly meeting Feb. 16.

The municipality had traded in a Caterpillar grader for a new one and was allowed to use the old grader until the new one arrived. Council reported that new grader was originally to be delivered in January but is now slated for a March delivery. In the interim, more than $7,000 in repairs to the old grader became necessary. Council debated whether the dealership should be responsible for those costs, as the grader — despite still being used by the RM — no longer belonged to the municipality. After the debate, council voted to request the dealership cover the repair costs.

NEW SHOP QUOTED

Discussion on a new public works shop included a quote for $1.1 million, administrator Dale Brenner said. The RM is looking at constructing a 60-foot by 100-foot building.

“That’s a little out of whack,” Reeve Bernard Kotylak said. “Everything has to be up to code, but it’s not that much money to put up a building.”

Kotylak said an estimate for the building itself, with concrete, is $200,000, plus the cost of construction, venting and electrical work.

“We aren’t going elaborate with the power because we are using the front of our building,” Kotylak said. “That can’t be another $700,000.”

Council left final decisions on the project for a future meeting.

DUST CONTROL TALK

Dust control and road maintenance agreements for 2021 were also discussed by council. While the rates charged are standard, Kotylak wondered if a second pass of dust control agents might help keep the dust better under control.

Coun. Paul Kress also asked if there was much they could do as a council, with regards to overweight or speeding trucks on municipal gravel roads.

“If you drive the speed limit, those are really good roads,” Kress said.

DITCH MOWING CONTACT

Council also voted to approve a $20,000 contract to have ditches mowed by Paul Dueck. The private contractor hired is the same one that mowed ditches last year. Councillors noted this freed up municipal public works staff to take on other duties, while getting the service at a lower cost overall than if the work was done in-house.

“Doing this got us one extra year out of our mower, that’s for sure,” Kress said.

Council heard there was one complaint last year from an individual who wanted to collect hay from the ditches but was unable to.

“Those are not hayfields,” Kotylak said, adding the work needs to get done on the contractor’s schedule.

SPEED BUMP DENIED

A request from the hamlet of Candiac to add speed bumps to a local road was denied.

‘We don’t have a solution for that and we don’t think a speed bump is the answer,”

Kotylak said.

Among the concerns were how an anchored temporary speed bump could cause longer-term damage to the road, and whether improved law enforcement to catch speeders could be an option.

Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum