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Bekkering concerned over Municipal Road Ban Policy

Posted on May 9, 2024 by Vauxhall Advance

By Heather Cameron
Vauxhall Advance
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

During the M.D. of Taber Council meeting that took place on April 9, David Bekkering, who farms in the Taber area with his brother, shared concerns with Council regarding the Municipal Road Ban policy.

Bekkering stated that he and his brother employ approximately 56 people, they do about $40 million with the business in the M.D. of Taber, and they had recently paid for a large improvement in front of their shop that contributed somewhere around $130,000 to the M.D. Their understanding, Bekkering said, was when they did that it would eliminate the short road ban between Highway 3 and their Barnwell feed yard, but he earlier saw a sign up that said 75 per cent restriction. 

Bekkering stated that he did have a conversation with the M.D. and did get a 100 per cent exemption permit because the road was of good enough quality to go on there with a limited amount of full loads, but that said, he recommended that the M.D. review its policy with regards to road bans on companies that have close access or close highway frettage. 

Bekkering then stated that when he drove down the highway recently, he counted approximately 45 businesses that are affected by short road bans in the M.D. of Taber either going from Highway 36 north-south or Highway 3 and lots of them are just a couple hundred feet, some of them are a quarter mile, and some of them are a half mile, but there seems to be a lot of growth along the agricultural corridor here. 

Bekkering again emphasized that he thinks that the M.D. really needs to review its policy with regards to road bans on short distances off of major routes. Saskatchewan, Bekkering said, has such policies with regards to grain farmers, as does areas like north of Monarch, so there are different policies that exist, and he truly believes that the M.D. needs to be a little more creative when it comes to theirs. 

Bekkering also expressed the desire for clarification or discussion within Council on if people want to upgrade their roads, emphasizing that to do such a thing would be an economic benefit to both him personally and to the M.D. as a whole.

Council thanked Bekkering for both his comments and his time and then asked his thoughts on his mill rate and whether or not he thought it was fair to him. Bekkering responded by saying that as a person that has both an acreage in the M.D. of Taber and a person that has a farm in the M.D. of Taber, his mill rate as a farmer is too low and his mill rate as a private individual owning an acreage is way too high because he doesn’t receive any sewage or other services and is relatively a light user of any M.D. road because he doesn’t have a lot of heavy traffic going on it. Ultimately, Bekkering expressed thoughts that some discussion should be had with regards to it.

Ultimately, Council made a motion to receive the concerns outlined by David Bekkering regarding the Municipal Road Ban policy in conjunction with and subsequent to the ongoing Transportation Master Plan and that motion was carried.

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