Snow removal policy changes approved

Council passed a new Snow Removal Policy including a map that shows the three-step removal policy, at their regular council meeting on Tues. Nov. 13.

Administration has worked from a procedure and a map previously but have now formalized it into a policy.

The map outlines the streets as to first priority for roads with the highest traffic volume, roads which can be cleaned quickest with minimal equipment and roads which are required for people to reach emergency services.

“Parameter roads first, generally, as they are easier to do, we can blow the snow, plough or push the snow off to the side,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Neill.

“We like the residents to get their sidewalks shovelled first so all the snow is getting removed when we do the streets.

“Access to the school is important, airport runway and tarmac for emergencies, then we get into residential areas. Alleys are generally last on the schedule,” continued Neill.

As per last year, the schedule is to “Mix it up so you’re not on the long end [of snow removal] every time,” said CAO Neill adding that “Generally, it takes two to three weeks on a heavy snow event to get everywhere.”

Administration is trying to do a better job on getting vehicles moved prior to snow removal by putting up signs and posting on social media as to where the snow removal will be occurring the following day so residents can cooperate by moving their vehicle as it’s much faster if crews do not have to work around parked vehicles.

“We still don’t get 100 per cent compliance and we haven’t been in the game of ticketing and towing.

Generally, it’s vehicles that aren’t going to start anyways,” said Neill.

Sidewalk snow removal

Policy for sidewalk snow removal by residents was also amended to clearly outline the policy and procedure for the enforcement of the Bylaw 947-2009 – Unsightly Premises and Snow Removal.

“Main difference,” said CAO Neill, “we are not necessarily going to provide any notice to the resident who hasn’t cleared their snow within the 24 hours.”

After 24 hours the town can now clean it and charge the resident for the work plus an additional $25 administration fee each time.

“We know we have chronic ones and those are the ones we are going to be starting with first.”

Some absentee owners relied on the town and did not have a problem paying the bill, said Neill adding, “that’s not the intent of what we do”.

According to the policy, the town can also fine the resident for non-compliance.

Legal counsel hired

CAO Neill noted that he had hired legal counsel to deal with the issue between the contractor, 640 Earthworks, and sub-contractor, Elite Site Services on the Cervus Development in regards to payment between the two.

Imperial Equities who is the owner of the new Cervus property, has had a lien put against the property.

The Town will continue to hold back $70,000 of the contract agreement until this dispute has been settled between the two parties satisfactorily and or directed by the Court how to distribute the holdback.

“We’ve been satisfied with the work that was done and hopefully they can get that solved and out of our hair and off of Imperial Equities land title,” said Neill.

Airport runway completed

The airport runway has been completed by Brooks Asphalt but some work may be required in the spring where the grass strips meet the runway especially the western side, noted Neill.

The damage on the east end where the hangers are was repaired by Brooks Asphalt.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough funds to complete the tarmac,” said Neill. “Some rehab was done but for the most part the tarmac is for parking and slow-moving planes for accessing the hangars.”

Administration may continue to look for grants for lighting but “we did get the lion’s share of the grant that they have for the province”.

Administration will get the pricing and make a grant application in a year or two for lighting.

Library Board appointees

Council accepted the recommendation to appoint Ricardo Hoar and Carolyn Mammel to the Library Board.

A third applicant will be encouraged next year to apply as to have the appointments staggered.

“The board had the ability to take on a third member and had an application but it’s certainly no disrespect to the applicant,” explained CAO Neill.

“They [the Library Board] just felt they had a significant changeover a few years ago and if you look at their terms, they kind of wanted to get it spread out so they weren’t losing three or four each time.”

Lynette Kenrick has retired from the board after nine years of service.

The AltaGas Steel Main replacement project has been completed, CAO Neill reported to Hanna councillors at their regular meeting.

Budget meetings will begin next week.

 

J. Webster

ECA Review

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