Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Snow removal discussion at Council brings praise for City workers, concerns over private property owners

Councillor Barry Cunningham once again raised concerns about a lack
of snow removal on a portion of Third Avenue East owned by private interests

The big snowfall of last week made for a short conversation at Monday's City Council session, with Councillor Wad Niesh making note of the work of City workers and contractors following the large volume of heavy snow on Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning last week.

"I just wanted to say thanks to all the city staff and contractors who helped remove all of that crazy amount of snow that we had in such a short period of time the other night and everyone else in the community who helped their neighbours or helped their friends to move some snow  ... 

It was a lot snow in a short period of time and kudos to everyone who helped and got our town up and running again" -- Councillor Wade Niesh

For his part of the snow review, Councillor Cunningham provided a few thoughts towards those who weren't quite as helpful.

"I would also like to point out on the same note, we again saw sections of town that were not cleared by the owners of property that don't live in town. 

One being down on McBride and Third and with us expecting snow again next week as in the forecast, I think something should be done about that.

Whether the city clears that and sends them a bill or we contact them to hire a contractor or fine them or whatever" -- Councillor Barry Cunningham

To that theme, the City Manager noted that in the instance of the Third Avenue West area noted by the Councillor that the City Bylaw office had forwarded letters and the next stage would be fines for the property owners.

"I can advise with respect to the property that Councillor Cunningham referenced, Bylaw has sent out letters to the owners and the next time that happens we are in the position for fining"  -- City Manager Doctor Robert Buchan

Access to downtown businesses related to snow removal also was a topic
for discussion on Monday night

Councillor Cunningham also noted of a need for more planning for snow events in the future, particular in aid of the downtown business owners.

"If this is going to be our norm in winter with storms of this magnitude and it looks like it,  this the second year in a row that this happened, we're going to have to come up with some kind of ploughing program. 

So that the businesses on Third avenue when the plow goes down, it doesn't build up a wall that people can park their cars but can't get into the businesses. You know, our businesses have struggled through pandemic and everything for a while and I don't know how we deal with that.

But I've had people complain to me about you know people can't get into my store, can't get into my cafe because there's three feet of snow on the sidewalk ... just something that we'll have to look at" -- Councillor Barry Cunningham 

Not mentioned in the review was to ask to the impact on the snow removal budget from the large dump of last week, as well as any questions related to the status of civic equipment that was not in use during the last snow storm. 

The latter owing to maintenance issues and if that equipment would be available for use, should the snow forecast noted by Councillor Cunningham come to pass

The city's Snow guidance for property owners can be reviewed here.

The Discussion to the topic from Monday can be reviewed from the City's Video archive starting at the one hour eighteen minute mark.

More notes on the city's Operations department can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of Monday's Council session is available here.

1 comment:

  1. I hope BC Housing also got letters for no snow removal on their commercial properties.