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REPORTING · 5th December 2011
Walter McFarlane
Councillor Randy Halyk had a motion put forward at the City Council Meeting on November 21st. The motion was to tie snow removal to the weather forecast and allow it to proceed when the depth of snow reached three inches.

“The whole point of this comes down to, last year, we had five inches. We changed our policy to not roll until 5 inches was accumulated on the ground. I watched that last year and was really concerned at certain times. I saw that the crews seemed like they couldn’t keep up and I noticed a lot of machinery was breaking down. I followed it all the way through the winter and was really concerned about it,” said Halyk.

Councillor Corrine Scott asked the Manager of Engineering, Tim Gleig for information. She had the same concerns about whether this was a cost savings or not. Gleig explained this was one of the options to make snow removal more efficient.

“In the case of five inches vs. three inches, that in some cases, might mean we’re clearing snow during regular hours only if it is not a significant snow fall, and we don’t have to come out at overtime,” said Gleig. “As far as last year, when there was a back up and breakdowns, some of which were on the ends of curbs which were concealed, that was a significant amount of snow fall. How much difference they make, whether they start as three or five is questionable.”

Gleig explained they clear snow during regular hours and only come out on overtime when the snowfall hits a certain amount, three or five inches. When it hits the amount, they go out on Full Snow Clearing Operations no matter what time of day or day of the week it is.

They do consult weather and map a five day forecast, although they are not always accurate. He suggested a meeting reviewing the full winter clearing policy. Each snowfall is different and each has a different effect on the budget.

Councillor Bob Corless said they changed the snow clearing from three to five was because of the Eurocan Closure. He expressed there is some room to revisit this.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to review the data. The new council will have a chance to go ahead with it. Scott reminded everyone there was a motion on the books for a change to the snow removal policy to put snow against the curb.

The motion was tabled.