As far as the RM of Meadow Lake is concerned, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
With the overabundance of snow experienced this winter followed by a large amount of spring runoff, more snow, another melt, and so on and so forth, Mother Nature has been wreaking havoc on RM roads in recent weeks. It’s not uncommon for grid roads and other rural passageways to become wet, muddy and somewhat unmanageable at this time of year, but – according to both residents and RM officials – this is the worst it’s been in quite a long time.
Big deal, right? All the RM needs to do is send its public works people out to grade and gravel the roads to ensure they’re safe, or at the very least, drivable. Well, the fact of the matter is, it is a big deal.
With conditions as they currently are, it is impossible for the RM to send in its heavy equipment to smooth out any ruts, lay down any gravel or do whatever other steps are deemed necessary to improve the overall quality of the roads. If they were to even attempt such an endeavour, the RM trucks themselves would likely become stuck or, at the very least, cause more harm than good.
At the same time, RM council and administration are aware of the inconvenience this creates for motorists, particularly those who reside in these corners of the community. The RM wants to help, it’s simply unable to at this time.
It’s a similar catch 22 to the one the City of Meadow Lake finds itself in once the ice and snow begins to make way for the arrival of warmer weather. Although city streets are starting to dry up, there are still numerous potholes present making for a treacherous drive for those travelling even a few blocks. The city has long been criticized for the condition of its roads, but there’s really nothing it can do until things fully dry up. There are plans to fill potholes and repave some streets, but the timing has to be right or the municipality would simply be throwing good money after bad. Again, it’s damned if you, damned if you don’t because taxpayers don’t want to see public money spent unnecessarily, but at the same time expect everything yesterday. These things take time.
In terms of the RM, however, it’s understandable how rural residents are frustrated considering their inability to make it from their driveways into town for work, appointments or even medical emergencies. They should know, though, there are things that need to be taken into account when they decide to live in the country and this is one of them.
In the meantime, it’s best for residents to heed the advice of RM officials and be patient. Things will get better. They always do.