Road Maintenance Agreements
Res #: 27-09M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs
WHEREAS the distance from farm to elevator has increased over the last number of years;
WHEREAS the road bans come on all roads in Saskatchewan for a period of six weeks every spring;
WHEREAS it appears that this is the exact time that the grain companies call for farmers’ grain; and
WHEREAS this added heavy truck traffic has put an extra burden on our rural roads – thus increasing road maintenance costs;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM work with the Provincial Government in an effort to bring about a province wide road maintenance agreement with the grain companies and the rural municipalities to assist in the reduction of rural road maintenance costs to the ratepayers.
Response from Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Municipal Affairs:|
- We understand your concerns about rural road maintenance costs. The Municipalities Act provides RMs the authority to establish road maintenance agreements with haulers, shippers, or receivers. If a council considers a delivery of goods to be “significant in nature”, they may require the hauler to pay road maintenance fees.
- Under this legislation, it is the responsibility of municipal councils to enter into road maintenance agreements, if they choose.
- The maximum road maintenance fees are set in The Municipalities Regulations. Road maintenance rates are being reviewed by the ministry. A decision to adjust the rates set by provincial regulation for the costs rural municipalities incur to maintain rural roads impacted by heavy hauling must be balanced with the financial impacts of rates on rural industry.
- The resolution calls for a province-wide approach. There are pros and cons to this suggestion. On the one hand, there would be consistency in the treatment of the industry. On the other, many municipalities prefer not to use road maintenance agreements and a province-wide agreement would not be flexible to meet local municipal needs. There would be significant practical difficulties associated with the many different scenarios that exist for these hauls – within an RM, between RMs, through RMs, or from elevator to elevator. New legislation would be required for a province-wide agreement. Ultimately it may end up that the farmer pays the cost.