City exploring snow dump options

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Due to the growing cost of the City-owned Snow Dump and its use for illegal dumping of garbage materials, Fort St. John City Council has decided to investigate different options for the dump.

The dump -located at 9303 and 9403 79 Ave. – is used by city snow removal crews and contractors are also allowed to dump snow for free.

If the City was simply dealing with snow, alone, it would probably not be a major concern, City Manager Dianne Hunter told City Council at Monday’s meeting. However, Hunter said some of the City’s concerns centre around the fact that there is garbage and contaminated waste that is showing up at the snow dump and that companies from outside Fort St. John have also been using the dump.

Furthermore, she said City work crews have to spend time moving the dumped snow around so that other vehicles can access the area to dump more snow.

As of the middle of February, the City had spent $22,000 to move around and pile the snow.

One concern Hunter addressed was if the City closed the dump, it would create a snow removal problem for contractors which are currently using it.

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Council defeated a motion to close the dump altogether at the end of this winter, however, they passed a motion to have City staff examine other options for the snow dump, including leasing out the land or having a private company operate a similar type of dump on its own land.

Councillor Trevor Bolin said the City should ensure that if public land is leased, the lease stipulate the area be returned to the City in the same environmental condition that it is currently in. He said the City should not be responsible for having to clean up the site afterwards.