Town of Castor trialing new snow removal policy

“I don’t see we have a choice, due to budget cuts”

By Kevin J Sabo

For the Advance

With fall winding down into winter, the Town of Castor council has decided to look into their snow removal policy.

According to Castor Mayor Richard Elhard, Castor has, “Done well with snow removal.” However, with ever-tightening budgets and a desire to become more fiscally responsible, council has opted to trial a new snow removal policy.

“This is a service level decrease,” said Castor Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee.

Under the old policy, it would be up to the discretion of the Director of Public Works or the CAO if snow removal were needed.

Under the new policy approved for trial during the Nov. 25th council meeting, there is now a threshold that must be met before snow removal will occur.

To start the trial the threshold will be 7.5 cm, meaning that snow removal will not begin until that amount has fallen.

Once that threshold has been met, the Town will proceed with snow clearing activities during normal work hours, with the priority routes around the hospital and the truck route being the first to see attention.

Under the trial policy, Town administration believes that all snow – once 7.5cm has been reached – can be removed from all areas of town in five business days, with no overtime.

In the event of a snowfall exceeding 15 cm, Town crews will be approved to work overtime and will clear the snow along the emergency routes outside of regular work hours.

“I don’t see that we have a choice, due to budget cuts,” said Coun. Trudy Kilner, speaking in favour of the trial policy.

However, not all members of council were onboard with the new policy.

“I’m convinced it’s going to take a lot longer [to remove the snow] if we wait for 7.5 cm,” said Coun. Lonny Nelner.

Council was told that the policy is being brought in to reduce costs of snow removal in town.

The policy will be trialed until the next meeting of council on Dec. 16th.

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