December 25, 2015 - 1:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Mother Nature can be unpredictable but the City of Kamloops managed to clear the snow without blowing the budget in 2015.
It was a year of weirdly unpredictable weather streets and environmental services manager Glen Farrow says. The city spent $100,000 more on contactors during the heavy snowfall of Jan. 4 and 5 than budgeted, but by February and March crews had moved from snow removal to street repair.
Farrow says his department’s big dilemma is usually how to handle events like those at the beginning of January.
“Do we haul, haul, haul or do we wait two weeks and it all melts? In 10 days we spent $150,000 (on contractors),” Farrow says.
While there are three shifts of 10 workers who clear snow and perform winter maintenance daily, the city often hires contractors to haul snow off to the Public Works yard.
The city budgeted $1.6 million for 2015 snow removal, and came in at $1.5 million. Farrow says whatever isn’t spent each year is put in a reserve and used in case there is a major event like what Kamloops experienced last January.
While there might have been an underage this year, Farrow is hesitant to scale back operations.
“We have no idea what it’s going to look like (from year to year). If I cut my budget, I won’t be unable to meet my service levels,” he says.
The city’s priority are arterial roads, including Columbia Street or Tranquille Road, are plowed down to the asphalt within four hours of a snowfall. Collector roadways, like Dallas Drive or Ord Road, are plowed within 16 hours, and all other residential streets are done within 36 hours. These roads, however, are not plowed bare and sometimes only sanding is required.
Farrow says even though the city hasn’t had a lot of snow yet this winter, there has been more ice. His crews have been out putting down sand on smaller local roads and intersections.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015