At their regular meeting on Oct. 26th, Lacombe City council passed a resolution to approve, effective immediately, service level revisions to Snow Removal Policy 32 and 230 as amended to address snow clearing from City sidewalks and trails.
“Growth in Lacombe is accompanied with increased duties for snow clearing,” said Community Services Director Brenda Vaughan. “Recent increases include the addition of trails along Hwy. 2A, Henners Storm Pond, Burris Point and Maple Drive. The North West Recreation Area and MacKenzie Subdivision were also added asphalt trails in 2015. The Sheppard Heights trails are finished with asphalt millings, avoiding the need for snow clearing.”
Citizen feedback over the past year requested that the Cranna Lake trails be cleared by early Monday morning, ahead of foot traffic heading to schools. Weekend snow clearing ceased about four years ago due to insufficient resources. Parks staff will attempt, using their existing resources, to clear school foot traffic trails as early as possible on Monday mornings. Parks staff will also clear sidewalks abutting property that is the responsibility of the City of Lacombe.
“Parks staff will undertake snow clearing and ice control on sidewalks, hard asphalt and cement surfaced trails within the designated trail system,” said Parks and Facilities Manager Calvin Bennefield. “The service will be provided between Monday and Friday, excluding statutory holidays.”
Priority sequencing of snow clearing is now established as follows: downtown, school foot traffic walkways, all other sidewalks, asphalt and sidewalk trails and fourthly outdoor skating rinks.
There are also service level changes for clearing snow from streets. In the past, operations staff have attempted to give more than 12 hours advanced notice to residents, but have occasionally given less in their efforts to quickly address snow clearing within the municipality.
Going forward, all snow clearing operations will be preceded by at least the mandated 12 hours of signed notice. New signage has also been ordered to increase the visibility of street maintenance warnings.
“In advance of the upcoming winter season, we will be reminding residents of the traffic bylaw provisions,” said Operations and Planning Director Matthew Goudy. “Vehicles that impede snow clearing operations by violating the bylaw will be towed around the corner, at the owner’s expense, who will also be subject to a $60 fine as per the ‘Fines Schedule’ of Bylaw 223.”
Bylaw enforcement will still attempt to contact the owner of the offending vehicle prior to taking any action, to give the resident a chance to avoid the fine and tow charge.
This measure is expected to significantly improve snow clearing operations in residential areas, and lower the number of equipment incidents.