Ponoka resident displeased with speeding on Highway 53

Resident takes Ponoka council to task during presentation

Ponoka resident Warren Hart wants council to do something about speeding on Highway 53.

Hart made a presentation during the regular meeting May 22 in which he pointed out issues he has with traffic on the east side of town on Highway 53.

Mainly his concern is over what he calls a “lack of enforcement” along that stretch of road.

He’s spoken and complained with the RCMP and previous council and said at one point the town did use a speed radar that indicated motorists’ speeds, be nothing has been done with that information.

With regard to speeding in the area he feels this council and previous councils paid lip service to the speed, safety and noise issues along the road. “I can hear them stepping on it (gas pedal) from the Reddi Mart,” said Hart.

“I can’t enjoy a conversation with my neighbour because of the frickin’ noise…and I am totally frustrated with that!”

“My question is, What are you going to do?” asked Hart.

“I haven’t seen an RCMP by my house for over two months,” said Hart.

Mayor Rick Bonnett asked Hart if he’s spoken to MLA Ron Orr. Hart wondered if there’s any point to that. Bonnett replied that Highway 53 is not actually within the town’s jurisdiction.

Highways running through towns are the responsibility of Alberta Transportation and speeds within those zones are determined by the ministry.

“I’ve talked to Alberta Transportation before, specifically because of the 70 (km/h sign),” stated Hart.

His frustration over the issue was clear. However, he did not appear to fully understand what the town’s responsibility is.

“We don’t get to tell the province…we don’t have that power as a council,” said Bonnett.

Hart challenged the town, stating administration requested the speed limit changes. Those changes were the addition of 70 km/h signs between the 100 km/h and 50 km/h signs.

Bonnett told Hart that he would ask him to leave the meeting if he didn’t calm his demeanour.

At this point Hart became frustrated with other areas he has concerns over.

“Why are my tax dollars going to businesses?” asked Hart pointing out that he feels non profits such as the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association, the Ponoka Golf Course, the Ponoka Agricultural Society and the airport are all businesses.

When it comes to not for profit groups, Hart feels that is a misnomer.

“In my opinion that is the biggest scam in the province right now,” stated Hart.

He feels groups in Alberta categorized as not for profit don’t benefit communities and wants to see it changed.

Bonnett added this question is once again out of the town’s jurisdiction. “I don’t disagree with you but you’re talking to the wrong body.”

Hart once again raised his voice and stated frustration with the town working to help these other organizations.

He concluded by saying he has no personal issues with this mayor and council but feels council is leading the town into bankruptcy.

Coun. Kevin Ferguson said to Hart that some of these initiatives are about creating development in the town and what he called “the greater good.” He suggested Hart’s concerns shouldn’t only be about “my taxes”.

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