FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council will hear from City staff Monday about a new plan for clearing snow in the City.
Staff say the City can’t meet the existing policy directive with current resources. During the last review of the policy in 2010, staff changed to the current procedure that takes much longer to remove snow but doesn’t block residential drives. Before 2010, plow trucks were used to remove snow with clearing completed within one to two days, yet the plows filled peoples driveways.
Council asked staff before Christmas to review the current procedure and policy to align the two and to improve efficiencies.
Snow removal is a source of financial stress for the City with snowfall amounts being unpredictable, finding the most financially efficient way to move the snow is an asset.
With the 2017 and 2018 budgets exceeding the allocated snow clearing funds due to heavy snowfall. Having the right equipment and system in place is a must to ensure priorities for snow and ice control for streets, parking lots, and sidewalk/trails.
The draft policy that will be presented to Council on Monday identifies priorities for snow and ice control for streets, parking lots, and sidewalk/trails. It also identifies levels of response which are operationalized in the administrative procedure.
The draft also allows for the use of contracted services to help with clearing the streets and parking lots. Typically the contractors would work in a residential area, allowing City crews to move back to higher priority areas if required. It also allows for the ability to open a street, to make it safer to drive one – although it is not cleared from curb to curb. Crews would later go back and clear the street from curb to curb.
Council will review the policy on Monday and determine the next steps to update the snow removal policy. The full report being presented to Council is below.