FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council was recently presented with the draft policy for Snow Removal at a Committee of the Whole meeting.
Victor Shopland, General Manager of Integrated Services, and Jeremy Garner, Director of Public Works and Utilities, gave Council a presentation on the current performance of snow removal in Fort St. John.
The purpose of the policy is to establish priorities for snow and ice control within the transportation corridors and other designated snow and ice control areas of the City of Fort St. John.
Within the presentation, Garner noted that the City is not able to meet the existing policy directive with its current resources. He says the ongoing process of snow removal has worked well but is now dealing with ageing equipment.
“This process of using graders and snow blowers worked really well, it leaves the street clean from curb to curb, and the snow is neatly placed on the boulevard. It is, however, very slow, it can take the crews up to five weeks to clear the entire city from curb to curb and this, in turn, frustrates many residents due to the time it takes. These 5250 snowblowers that were inexpensive to purchase, however, have reached end of life.”
In 2018, the City was $450,000 over budget when it came to snow removal. Shopland says they will have to be more prudent on spending in the 2019 budget.
“We certainly have to be very prudent in our budget and contracting lease for the next year, the 2019 year, to ensure that we stay within that amount.”
While the City did not go into the snowfall reserve in 2018, the question that Council will have to discuss further is whether or not the City will have enough in the snowfall reserve as the population continues to grow.
The draft policy is also looking at some changes as to what areas are considered high priority in the snow removal process and review the measurement of snow that should be removed off commercial and residential streets. In addition, they will look at the upgrading and replacement of equipment.
Council voted in favour for City staff to bring forward more information to the next meeting, for further review before adopting the policy. To read a copy of the draft policy, click here.
Watch the full discussion and presentation to Council below