Council got a brief update at its Nov. 9 meeting on the town’s service levels and expectations for clearing snow and ice off sidewalks, trails and streets.
Sidewalks and trails
Sidewalk clearing falls into two categories, said Sean McConnell, the town’s manager of facilities and parks. One is sidewalks adjacent to private property; the other one is sidewalks adjacent to town-owned property.
In the first case, property owners are required to clear the sidewalks within 24 hours of the last snowfall. In the second, the town does the work, although no 24-hour limit was mentioned in the report. As far as the trail system goes, the standard is the crews will get to it within 48 hours of the end of the snowfall, and finish it within 72 hours.
The entire job can take 16 – 18 hours, McConnell said. Of course that’s only if it doesn’t start snowing again before it’s finished.
Snow-clearing on roads
This report was a reminder of the program the town follows, with maps showing priority routes and so on. In residential areas, snow is stored on alternating sides, where there are sidewalks on both sides of the street. Where there aren’t, it goes always on the non-sidewalk side.
Councillor Steve Adams asked why in one case where there’s no parking allowed on one side of the street the town doesn’t always store the snow on that side. The answer: because when it did that it got a lot of complaints. It could be changed back.
That makes sense, said mayor Tyler Warman and asked admin. to see if there are any other areas in town like that.
On the subject of the downtown snow haul, Adams asked why it extends on 4th Ave. and 3rd Ave. NW as far as 3rd St., given that they are mainly residential. Also, how much would it save the town to discontinue it? A couple thousand dollars, was the estimate given.
No changes to the current system were approved. However, department director Calvin Couturier said there are “tweaks” pretty much every year that improve the system.
Major changes, however, have budget implications, and must be presented and approved via the budget process.