January 23rd, 2018

Snow-removal delays the result of City’s decision?


By Letter to the Editor on January 9, 2018.

I was not surprised about the delays that are mentioned in a recent Herald article about snow removal in the city. The write-up mentioned that two of the snow blowers used in removing snow piles in the middle of the road are in the shop waiting for parts.

A few months ago the City made the decision to close down their welding shop. Whoever made this decision probably thought it would be more cost-effective and save some money. Employees were given the option of positions in other departments.

I am assuming the work is now being contracted out to local welding shops, with the City having to wait for someone to show up to do the work. This is probably more costly. Was this a wise decision? Are they really saving money by doing it this way?

Not only did the City welders make daily repairs to seasonal equipment to get them back into service faster, but they also designed and fabricated parts when needed. I think those snow blowers would have been repaired and out on the road a lot sooner had the work been done by their own employees.

The City needs to rethink their decision about the welding shop closure or we will be seeing more prolonged delays with snow removal in the future.

Kathy Braun

Lethbridge

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6 Responses to “Snow-removal delays the result of City’s decision?”

  1. DtDt101 says:

    The snow route priority system also leaves little to be desired because the lower priority routes rarely, if ever, get cleaned. Whenever it snows the clock is reset and they start all over on the priority 1 routes.

    The City makes many decisions that, in the end, are not cost effective or beneficial. I give you one of the worst decisions – the ending of the annual Spring cleanup in the alleys and back lanes. Now the cleanup rests on the homeowners calling the City to come cleanup the mess and you only get a couple of calls a year. Let’s be honest, very few people actually care about the mess in the back lanes and therefore will not call. This has left the back lanes full of garbage in many neighborhoods. Also, improper enforcement of the bylaws by the City does nothing to help the situation.

  2. biff says:

    the closing of the welding dep’t appears as misguided as is the city’s approach to snow removal. saving money?! as if that has ever really been the city’s motivating rationale the 20 years that i have lived here. always seems to be something more about whose pockets will get lined.
    why are the vast majority of roads not cleared? most often the present approach leaves us many, many weeks of horrible roads covered in deep ruts and ice, due to thaws and freezes, long after we are forced to slip, spin and sludge through the the initial snow fall. is the idea to desensitize us to our otherwise poorly maintained roads even when not ice covered? does the city not understand that people walking actually have to walk on these roads at some point going from place to place? the added wear and tear on our expensive vehicles is another concern.
    moreover, the very idea that tax payers, already paying well too much, are required to clear the sidewalks for the corporation. how is this possible? it puts citizens on the hook for added liabilities; it puts many citizens on the hook for additional costs for clearing…add that to one’s tax total and see what the real tax rake becomes; and, the policy does not even ensure that all sidewalks are safe and cleared.
    were the city to clear all roads – obviously, starting with the most used and working through to the least – and, were the city to clear ITS OWN sidewalks (taxpayers in essence pay for the cost of sidewalks, but do not own them), more decent jobs would be created and the streets and sidewalks would be safer and more orderly for all.
    as for the additional cost to have this done – well, let’s just accept it as an essential service and find the way. the way the city wastes money suggests it bases financial decisions more upon making some well placed folk wealthy, rather than on any real need for the community. based on the present rates of over taxing us, the money for this is there. perhaps, all we need to see this happen is for one of the well placed to take ownership of a road and sidewalk clearing business?

    • phlushie says:

      A pertinent question is “why is it illegal for people living in a cul de sak to clean their way out with a “BOBCAT” so that they can get to work?”

      • biff says:

        phlush, my best guess is that the city’s well kept, precious roads my get scarred…or, worse, the bobcat may inadvertently scrape along some debris that would fill in a pothole.

  3. VcOfRiesen says:

    I am sure the City’s decision to close a welding shop is hardly the root cause of the City’s struggles with clearing our streets. The City’s welding shop consisted of 1 active employee who only worked 4 days a week.

    Does anyone with any common sense truly believe that the success or failures of the City’s snow removal program lies in the hands of 1 welding employee?

    I think not.

    • biff says:

      agreed – it appears the city’s approach to roads is to divert our ridiculously high property tax rate to projects that serve our needs less. when one considers that, in addition to off loading to the tax payer the responsibility of keeping corporate’s sidewalks clear, we further pay for water, sewage, garbage, and then service fees to support the extra charges. land deals, meanwhile, where it seems the city buys high and sells low, while also spending large sums to build things at great cost that only fractions of the population use. the neglect, then, of existing and necessary infrastructure that the most use, and even depend on, is based on our monies having been diverted elsewhere. AUDIT


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