The City of Revelstoke has a budget of around $1.2 million for snow clearing and removal. (Facebook/City of Revelstoke)

City plows through nearly $600K for snow removal in January

Staff facing challenges due to vehicles not following parking bylaws

The cost of snow removal in Revelstoke is adding up this winter.

Since Jan. 1, more than 260 cm of snow has fallen in the city, costing more than half a million dollars to clear.

According to a report for a committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 15 put together by Darren Komonoski, operations manager, that’s about half the City’s yearly budget for snow removal.

Winter storms have hit Revelstoke hard in recent weeks and the resort is having a historic season with massive powder.

In town, the snow is affecting motorists’ and pedestrians’ abilities to move around safely.

Streets are prioritized for plowing and sanding as follows: arterial roads accessing emergency services, downtown core, bus routes and hills, city-owned downtown parking lots and RCMP detachment parking lot, remaining city streets and roads, remain city-owned parking lots (Community Centre, the Forum), and fire hydrants.

The City of Revelstoke provides snow removal coverage during the week with limited weekend coverage.

“Our main objective, in accordance with the Snow Removal Policy, is to provide safe and orderly moment of emergency vehicles, vehicular traffic, and pedestrians throughout the city during the winter,” said Komonoski.

On Feb. 3, the road conditions through the city were poor. Komonoski said that operations staff made the decision Friday afternoon to not have anyone work an overtime Friday night shift. But overnight rainfall and above zero temperatures turned “packed snow into deep rutted slush, causing ponding at intersections and difficulties for drivers and pedestrians.”

Staff scheduled an overtime shift Saturday night “to clean up the worst of the areas” and the remaining areas were cleared during the regular Sunday night shift.

But Komonoski said that snow removal couldn’t be done safely downtown due to “parked vehicles and pedestrians impacting the safety and efficiency of these operations.”

Staff face these challenges on a daily basis, said Komonoski. They will often come across vehicles parked on the sidewalk, vehicles parked for more than 24 hours in the same street location and snow being pushed onto the sidewalks from residential driveways.

Bylaw officers haven’t been able to enforce rules around parking and snow due to limited staffing, said Komonoski. That is expected to change as city administrators have recently been trained.

The City tries to clean all areas within 24 hours.

“There are often areas where windrows and narrowed road right of ways may persists for days after a major event, or on weekends,” said Komonoski.

In December, 80 cm of snow fell, costing $230,531 to remove.

That amount nearly doubled in January, when 158 cm fell, costing $586,191. The numbers for February will be available sometime mid-March.

Komonoski said that the higher cost in January was likely due to the “distribution of snowfalls across the month. Larger events, while often more difficult for travel, are generally less costly to clean up.

“How much snow falls on the streets is outside of our control,” said Komonoski.

But the department keeps track of the cost and resources and can bring to City Council any recommendations to use reserve funds. Council can access a Financial Stabilization Fund, which had $940,000 at the start of 2017.

The current snow removal budget is around $1.2 million with a sanding budget of $128,500.


 

@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The red roads are addressed first, followed by the blue roads and then the green roads. (City of Revelstoke)

Just Posted

Revelstoke Secondary School Band turned choir performing in Scotland

The Revelstoke Secondary School Band is in Scotland this week. . They… Continue reading

Jocelyn’s Jottings: Another school shooting

Jocelyn’s Jottings: Another school shooting

Revelstoke family returns to their childhood home for the weekend

Have you ever had the chance to return to your childhood home?… Continue reading

Glimpses from Revelstoke’s past

120 Years Ago: Revelstoke Herald, May 25, 1898 The local citizens celebrated… Continue reading

Reel Reviews: Atypical college life

We say, “Life of the Party is pleasant and harmless.”

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Most Read