Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Municipal governments issue reminders of winter maintenance responsibilities for residents and business owners

Winter is coming, and the City of Prince Rupert wants
you to be prepared to do your part

The weather alerts of last week, sent the City of Prince Rupert to their website offering up a fairly comprehensive list of guidelines and more than a few suggestions for residents and business owners should the usual liquid precipitation familiar to the North Coast, turn to something more substantive and long lasting in the form of snow.

From the City's extensive notes on the theme of winter we learn that road clearing is prioritized with emergency vehicle and public transportation routes scheduled to be cleared first.

The city work crews head out when snow exceeds 5 centimetres, (or 2 inches) and when ice control is necessary, the city's snow control activities will take place within two hours of the decision to mobilize.

To alert the city as to hazardous road conditions you are asked to contact public works at 250-624-6795 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM or after hours at 250-624-3000.

The City's guidelines also include the definite No No's that you are counselled against when it comes to home or business snow clearing and areas where you might want to give a hand to the city when the accumulation piles up.

The City of Prince Rupert guidelines on snow removal
(click to enlarge)

You can review the full information release from the City of Prince Rupert  here including a link for you to report any violations you might see.

As well the City provides a link to a four page presentation towards snow clearing duties for you to look over should you start to see the snowflakes a comin'.

One area of frequent concern for Prince Rupert comes from the volume of empty lots and empty storefronts in the city, which made for a number of reminders earlier this year from Councillor Barry Cunningham, who called on the city to be more proactive when it came to making sure those areas of the downtown area in particular were taken care of, even if it required the city to do the work and to send the property owners the bill.

Other Northwest communities have also been busy advising their residents of the winter storm plans and how the responsibilities are to be divided between city and public.

Terrace keeps their instructions short and too the point, with a one page advisory as to expectations from residents in the winter season.

One item that caught our eye from the Terrace information flow, is how they approach the needs of their Senior Citizens, where those over 65 and in need of some help with their driveways can submit a form to the City, requesting financial assistance towards the goal of home based snow removal.

And while there are a number of conditions, for seniors living on their own, the City of Terrace has their back when it comes to dealing with winter.

The District of Kitimat also has snow clearing information available on their website which provides for a pamphlet on Safe Snow Removal.

Included in their information flow is something that they call Snow Clearing 101.

Considering the volume of snow that the community receives each year, it's somewhat surprising to note that the District hasn't posted a reminder to residents as to the requirements for winter clearing.

Then again, with Kitimat residents currently shovelling out the significant amount of snow that arrived over the weekend (63 centimetres at the last review), perhaps the average Kitimatian is more than familiar with the routine, and can catch up on their reading of the list of expectations or updates to it once they can grab a break from the task at hand.

After a fair bit of research on the Village of Masset website, while they do have a few notes on climate, we did not find any official advice from the local government on Haida Gwaii as to what to do in the unlikely case of a snowfall, though one imagines the Islanders probably just take the day off and wait for it to melt.

As the winter months arrive, we will be tracking some of the more extreme winter events through both our Weather archive and our notes on travel conditions along the Highway 16 corridor.

Whenever the topic of the city's snow removal policies and efforts come up for discussion at Prince Rupert City Hall, you can find the theme of the debate available through our Council Archive page.

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