February 25, 2015 - 7:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - It may be all but gone from our yards, but snow is still leading the discussion at council and budget meetings this week.
Stan Stewart recently asked city council to have a policy to remove snow from designated handicap parking stalls as well as the adjacent curb and edge of the sidewalk. There was little discussion about the cost and logistics of the request, but it’s not the first time additional snow clearing has been requested this year.
Shortly after our massive snowfall in January one downtown resident came before council asking to have staff clear more snow in the downtown area because of parking issues and a week after that Coun. Donovan Cavers tried to put forward a motion that would see snow clearing on sidewalks more of a priority during snow events. Neither idea gained much traction.
Snow removal was also a big topic at the budget meeting Tuesday night. A $2 million increase to the budget is proposed to help deal with the greater request for service. New equipment and more time would be needed to provide the ‘significantly greater service’ requested and feelings were either strongly for or against the additional budget request.
Snow removal is one of the larger requests set to go before council next month, along with a sewer upgrade and upgrades to several recreation facilities, all in the $1 million to $3 million range.
Nearly 40 centimetres of snow fell on the city to kick off 2015. The need to haul snow out of the Downtown and Tranquille business districts because of that snowfall led to clean up of the January event costing more than $400,000, or a quarter of the annual snow clearing budget. In early February the city was hit with another round of heavy snow and another expensive snow removal bill. So far nearly 50 per cent of the total annual budget of $1.6 million has been spent. The budget is based on a calendar year and will need to also cover any other snow events in 2015.
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