Last Tuesday’s town council meeting dealt with — you guessed it — snow removal on Stettler streets.
Director of operations Melissa Robbins made a presentation about how the town decides to remove ice and snow from the streets. Council voted to keep the current policy in place, but discussed an aspect of it that has been a recurring problem within the town during a stormy start to this winter.
Specifically, council discussed bylaw XV-1(b) — Snow and Ice Control, which deals with residential snow removal. Under the bylaw, snow from private properties can’t be pushed onto public streets or lanes.
Robbins said the bylaw is being ignored, and as a result, culverts are being covered with ice and snow. That means that in the spring when there’s a lot of water and the town wants to thaw the culverts to prevent flooding, it might not be able to do so because it can’t find the culvert openings, or they’re covered in ice.
“It’s been occurring all over town for years,” Robbins said.
“In the spring, there’s quite a bit of extra work,” said town CAO Rob Stoutenberg. Currently, the bylaw is not enforced, which means that people keep dumping snow.
Council voted to uphold the bylaw, but didn’t make any amendments to it.
Council discussed the benefits of educating the public on the proper snow policies, rather than punishing them.
“I would strongly encourage the educational aspect as much as possible,” said Mayor Dick Richards.
“We’re confident that they’ll come around and this won’t be a problem anymore,” Robbins said.
Coun. Al Campbell was more in favour of action.
“I think we’ve had enough education,” Campbell said.
The recommendation brought forward by Robbins was to use mailouts and advertisements to make Stettler residents aware of the bylaw and the consequences of covering the culverts.