July 17th, 2024

Council approves changes to snow and ice removal

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on June 22, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

City council on Tuesday unanimously accepted a recommendation from its Civic Works Standing Policy Committee to approve service level modifications to snow and ice removal starting this coming winter.
Councillor Mark Campbell was absent from the meeting.
The recommendation from SPC calls for the declaration of snow routes and implementation of plowing to the right on about 25 kilometres of selected roadways. Starting in the winter of 2022-23 and continuing into 2024-25, the second phase of the changes will include more residential plowing and less snow removal with removal only downtown, around school zones and in the area of the hospital in combination with the declaration of snow routes more frequently and enforcement during snow events.
At the June 8 Civic Works SPC meeting, Transportation general manager Darwin Juell said two public opinion surveys had snow removal at 98 and 99 per cent listed as important among city residents.
In recommending changes, Transportation followed the public’s wishes with the exception of snow removal from school zones, which the department considered to be necessary for safety.
Snow removal costs between $80,000 and $100,000 per shift while plowing costs $2,500 per plow with the City usually having between two and four in operation at one time. It has a total of 12 plows.
The second phase of the changes involved about 130 kms of roadways and affects between 30,000 and 35,000 residences. The city has a total of about 530 kms of roadways with 120 presently being considered Priority 1.
Juell told council on Tuesday his department will be launching a communication program this summer to inform affected residents about the upcoming changes.
“It’s going to be significant for people on a snow plow route,” Juell said. He added his department asked for a three-year project so it could tweak the process as it proceeds.
Council also unanimously passed a motion approving the maintenance of current service levels for all sweeping programs and to enhance enforcement action.
The motion called on administration to monitor the new service levels resulting from the 2020 budget reduction initiative and report back to the Civic Works Standing Policy Committee in the spring of 2025 about budget and resource impacts.
Councillor Jeff Carlson told council that residents have made it clear they want more enforcement done on vehicles which aren’t moved when clearing is scheduled.

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