City mulls reducing snow removal service; seeks public opinion

·2 min read

City council directed administration on Monday to include options for reducing the snow and ice removal services budget in a report coming this September.

Council has also directed administration to look into service adjustments such as neighbourhood snow storage, identifying priority 1 bus stops as well as enforcement options.

The public will be asked their thoughts regarding snow removal service in the city.

“I think we actually deliver a pretty Cadillac service of snow removal here in the City of Grande Prairie, and I don't know if I've personally got a desire for us to spend more money on snow removal, but I do see parts of our snow removal program that I do think are deficient,” said coun. Dylan Bressey. He noted that transit stops for residents with accessibility issues were a concern.

He said he doesn’t want to only look at increasing the cost of snow removal but rather allocate funds to other areas and potentially reduce services in less priority areas to create better efficiencies in the city’s snow removal.

“It strikes me that there's two ways to improve a service that's this big and this complex; you can add more money into it, or you can reallocate money in that service, and I think we probably have to do both of those things,” explained Bressey.

“I think it's our job to find efficiencies and support administration's initiatives,” said mayor Jackie Clayton.

“This motion will encourage administration to come back with opportunities that may not have been addressed in the initial report,” she said.

“I will support this motion because I feel that it's fiscally responsible to look at both sides of the equation, no matter what you're doing,” said coun. Gladys Blackmore.

“I don't want to reduce the service level,” said coun. Chris Thiessen.

“I want to be fiscally responsible, but I also want to promote safety on our roads, and I've seen lots of cars zigzag just because they hit a little rut on a windrow.”

Coun. Kevin O’Toole noted that the recent annexation of land has also increased the land size of the city, and he is happy with how they have been able to keep service levels where they were before annexation.

“I just think it's important to look at shuffling money around, not just increasing spending,” said Bressey.

Public engagement on the snow removal is expected to begin next week.

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting