Residents will see improvements in snowclearing this winter, especially on sidewalks that are “curb-faced” have have no snow storage capacity.
The Community Services Committee approved adding an additional $90,000 to the snow clearing budget, to begin this winter.
The new services include:
- $34,000 for additional snow removal via loading and trucking of snow away from areas of the city with limited space with in the right-of-way for snow to be stored. An additional contractor could be retained to focus on the Orchard area. This will allow current resources, as available, to concentrate on snow removal in the downtown and on bridge decks.
- $30,000 for an additional contracted sidewalk unit to gradually provide speedier sidewalk snow removal (four to five hours earlier than currently for storms of up to 30cm of accumulation).
- $27,000 for two additional temporary staff for 4 months each winter to continue to deliver winter maintenance to a consistent standard, provide winter maintenance on pathways that cannot accommodate motorized equipment and to improve our ability to clear school crosswalks in a timely manner.
Staff had recommended the changes be discussed during the 2016 budget discussions, But that that would have meant no improvements until winter of 2016-17, Councillors chose to advance the budget to start clearing this year. Committee’s recommendation goes to council May 26 for a final vote.
I moved the motion to increase service in time for this winter and am delighted it was supported by felow councillors. I received a number of complaints this past winter about the high piles of snow along the sidwalk, making walking to school and other places difficult, and impeding access downtown to businesses and parkng meters. The added budget is a step forward to address these challenges, especially when we have significant snowfall as we did this past winter.
Do you support these enhancements? Leave a comment below.