A resident of Howden says after years of heavy truck traffic beating up their roads, it is time that Ritchot Council step in and put a stop to this. 

Jim Wilderman appeared before Council earlier this month. Wilderman lives along Marchand Road. He notes though the truck traffic has been going on for years, the volume has only increased.

Wilderman says there are a few different issues. First of all, he says two properties along their road are extremely low and are currently being built up. And, Wilderman says, because the fill is free, they are building up acres, not only a mound. 

"They are in the lowest area of the neighbourhood, so at least 12 feet of fill is required," he says. "And some of them are building up five acres."

In addition to that, Wilderman says there is a trucking company down their road and the owner is turning that into a dump site. 

"He said he'd never quit dumping," says Wilderman. "And that's been going on for years."

Wilderman says you cannot walk down the road. 

"The dust is unbelievable," he says. "There is no silence."

Wilderman says he has counted the number of tandem and semi-trucks that drive down there and knows that some days there are nearly 200 that pass through within eight hours. 

He adds they cannot open their house windows because of the dust and says his grandson who lives next door and uses an inhaler, cannot spend time outdoors. Wilderman says some children are also not allowed to play in their front yards for safety reasons. 

"You can't walk down the road because of the possible castoff from tires of mud and gravel," he says. "You certainly can't bicycle down there."

Wilderman says residents have been reporting their concerns daily to the municipality. He notes the municipality will send a grader down that road and then three days later the washboard is so bad again that you can feel the vibrations in your house. 

Wilderman says his request is that the owner of the trucking company no longer be allowed to use his personal property as a fill site. And, as for the other two sites that are being built up, his request is that they only be allowed to build up a mound, similar to the other homes down that road, and not bring in fill to raise the elevation of a five-acre property. 

"Just because (the fill is) free doesn't mean you have to take it all," he says. "Be reasonable about their requests, as well as the RM actually go out and visit these sites because all three locations have impacted the natural drainage."

Meanwhile, Ritchot Mayor Chris Ewen says the concerns of Wilderman are justified. 

"We have been hearing about these concerns from our local councillor in that area, Janine Boulanger, she's been lobbying for the residents there to see action," adds Ewen. "Politics and government is very slow, so we are progressing. But it just came to the point where the delegation had to happen so the residents could be heard."

Ewen says he thinks the delegation helped residents understand that the municipality is looking into the matter and will be making a decision.

"I made a promise at the delegation that our next meeting, which is our Public Works meeting, I would look into this to see what the next steps are," says Ewen. "We can at least create a path and direction for what needs to happen and when this is going to happen. And I know we've been working on it in the background but there is really no timeline, now I would like to set a timeline to say ok, let's start creating action." 

Ewen adds he does not think there is anything illegal being done, in terms of the number of trucks driving down that road, but he says it is excessive and the municipality will need to take a hard look at how to manage this. 

Ewen adds he wants residents of Ritchot to know that if they have a concern, they are always welcome to host a delegation and meet with Council.