Mop up continues on slush-covered streets

City snow removal crews will be trying to clear every sidewalk in the city over the next two days.

KELOWNA Snow removal crews will be working well beyond their typical guidelines by trying to run a plow over all 450 kilometres of city sidewalk in the next couple of days.

That's unusual, in part because the city and residents rely to a certain extent on warmer temperatures to melt snow before it becomes a problem, but city roadways operations supervisor Stephen Bryans says this was far from a typical snowfall and most residents haven't kept up with removing snow from sidewalks.

“This has been an extraordinary event,” Bryans says. "We're going to try to help out."

The city’s snow and ice control policy sets out the standards the municipality tries to meet and makes responsibility for snow removal fall on property and business owners. It doesn’t hurt that, despite the size of the storm, it won’t break the city’s snow removal budget of $1.5 million. 

“We’re in a new budget year so we’re all right so far,” Bryans said. “Of course, winter isn’t over yet.”

He said the precise cost of the huge snow removal effort won’t be known for a few more days.

“We’re still moving it off the roads,” he adds.

Despite a number of complaints to city hall, Bryans said he was satisfied with this week's snow removal operation, both before and after the storm, which he said was like “trying to hit a moving target.”

Still, he said the city will look to their response to see what could be done differently the next time there’s a big snow storm.

“There’s always room for improvement,” he says. “We haven’t debriefed yet. Ask me next week."

Bryan added that city crews, including additional hired contractors, continue to work around the clock pulling snow from around transit stops and side streets.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infotelnews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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