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Amendments to snow clearing policy explained

The City will be providing enhanced snow-clearing services in 2014.

The City will be providing enhanced snow-clearing services in 2014.

The City has received feedback from residents regarding snow clearing in recent years and in light of this winter’s heavy snowfalls, Council has decided to move ahead with amendments to the Snow Removal Policy, which was first created in December of 1999.

This policy was updated once in 2005, and was not reviewed until February 2013, at which time a decision was made to review service levels during the upcoming winter.

Discussions focused on clearing private walkways that join to public roadways, as the then-current policy required that only driveways be cleared.

Surrounding municipalities’ snow clearing policies were reviewed last March to identify possible options for clearing private walkways. After further research and analysis, Council has amended the current practice to provide a higher level of service to Lacombe residents by clearing walkways or driveways.

The City will begin clearing snow windrows from residential driveways or private walkways where there is no boulevard. If there is both a driveway and a private walkway (with no boulevard) present by the residence, crews will only clear the driveway. This is typical of other municipalities in the Central Alberta region, such as Blackfalds.

If there is a boulevard present, then crews will not clear the private walkway as it typically ties into public sidewalks paralleling the residence. In the rare instance that an area has a boulevard, walkway, and no front driveways, periodic access ways will be cleared roughly every three houses, similar to the City of Red Deer’s current practice.

The City has identified 350 - 400 private walkways to be potentially cleared in residential areas around Lacombe. To carry out the enhanced service the municipality will be converting one equipment operator from a summer/fall seasonal position to a fulltime position.

As well, existing snow clearing equipment will be upgraded to help facilitate the enhanced service.

- Vossen