A little good news, particularly for those with respiratory issues.
At its April 29 remotely broadcast meeting, council rescinded its decision to remove dust suppression from its annual activities in order to save money.
The cost-saving measure due to the uncertainty of the pandemic was part of others such as the ditching and brushing of culverts or pulling out of contracts such as planting flowers along Huntsville’s main street—all cost-saving measures approved by council at its March 31 meeting, held remotely, also due to COVID-19.
Huntsville Councillor Brian Thompson brought the discussion back to the table at the last council meeting saying he had discussed it with staff. He said aside from the health benefits related to dust suppression there were practical reasons as well.
“It goes beyond just the fact that a resident living on that particular road is not going to have to put up with dust coming into their house or affecting their property, that kind of thing. But there are some very practical reasons as well for dust suppression and it has to do with the integrity of the roads themselves and the long-term lifespan of those roads,” said Thompson, who asked staff to expand on the issue.
“Without the dust suppressant, we’re going to end up spending more money grading the roads because you’re going to end up getting potholes sooner… You’re going to lose the stone that we do put down this year, it’s going to be pushed off by the cars and end up in the ditch so we’re going to have to put more stone on next year and the base that we lose from not doing it this year, we’re going to have to almost do a double treat next year to make up for it,” said Huntsville manager of operations Kevin Boucock.
“It could potentially cost a lot more down the road,” he said, adding that councillors can also expect to get calls from residents with dusty cars or damaged cars from potholes, or those with respiratory issues.
“The calcium chloride that we use collects the moisture from the air, it sits onto the road and more or less holds it in place keeping that base, keeping it strong for us,” added Boucock.
Huntsville Councillor Dan Armour agreed and said council should put the money back in the budget for dust suppression so it doesn’t cost more in the end. Boucock noted that the cost amounts to approximately $68,000.
Council approved the change.
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