Road Maintenance Agreements
Res #: 40-12A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs
WHEREAS the booming economy of Saskatchewan has increased heavy hauling on municipal roads; and
WHEREAS ten year old road haul agreements do not address the damage to roads; and
WHEREAS municipalities all have to use the same rates;
BE IT RESOLVED that the government be lobbied to immediately change road haul agreements, so individual RMs can establish their own rates and regulations using government approved guidelines.
Response from Honourable Darryl Hickie, Minister of Municipal Affairs:
The Municipalities Act provides authority for municipalities to enter into road maintenance agreements with shippers, haulers or receivers to recover costs associated with damage to roads from heavy hauling. Regulations under the Act set maximum rates that municipalities may charge. Municipalities may charge less and some do.
A committee with representation from government, SARM, the Rural Municipal Administrators Association (RMAA) and industry stakeholders conducted a review of road maintenance agreements in 2007-08. While the committee was able to agree on a new agreement template which is posted on the Ministry’s website and a new dispute resolution mechanism using the Saskatchewan Municipal Board, which is in place, the committee was unable to reach consensus on road maintenance agreement rates.
Rural municipalities did not have the actual data needed to verify road maintenance and restoration costs from heavy hauls or to justify an increase in rates. The Ministry has initiated a study, and is seeking more municipalities to participate in it, to develop actual incremental cost information so that the maximum road maintenance agreement rates can be reconsidered. Information about the study is posted on the Ministry’s website at https://www.municipal.gov.sk.ca/Regulations-Policies/Road-Maintenance-Agreements.
Road maintenance agreement rates affect the cost of doing business for rural industry. When the agreements were first introduced, RMs were permitted to set their own rates but this became problematic precisely because the rates impact business and industry. Accordingly, maximum rates were introduced and have been set by government since 1989. Government would not consider going back to an ad hoc approach.