Peel Street snow removal solution in sight

·2 min read

A small addition to a stretch of Peel Street sidewalk will aid town snowplows to access the traditional tricky area.

The solution is to extend the width of the sidewalk by a metre, using asphalt between Main Street and Simcoe Street. The existing parking signs within this area would also be removed and relocated to accommodate the extension. The pavement markings would also be added to define the new sidewalk and parking area.

“Adding to the sidewalk, especially given it's a one-way street is a brilliant solution,” said Coun. Debbie Levy. “If I recall, it was $10,000 to shovel and clear the snow and doing this for $15,000 and just whipping our snowplow down is perfect.”

Where most of council was sure this was the best solution, one council member wasn’t sure if it was saving the town any money.

“It may alleviate some of that $10,000,” said Coun. Brian Cummings, “but we still have the stairs, the Canada House parking lot and the church to be shoveled, so I'm not sure how that reduces the cost.”

Brian Murray, director of public works, said it won't affect the maintenance of those areas.

“The Canada House walkway and the church staircases on municipal right of way will continue to be cleared by town staff,” he said. “This just allows the section adjacent to the buildings on the west side of Peel Street to be maintained by our trackless sidewalk plow, which reduces our time to clear snow in that area.”

Cummings persisted in getting a clear answer on the cost savings.

“So just to be clear the $15,000 is on top of the $10,000?” he asked.

Murray didn’t have a clear answer.

“We will save staff time and reduction in cost on an annual basis to clear the stairs,” he said.

Coun. George Vadeboncoeur brought to attention the feasibility of the option, given the season.

“Can we still do that given the onset of winter?” he said.

Murray said he had confirmed with the roads supervisor about the availability of asphalt.

“We are able to place it ourselves with our hotbox trailer, so that won't be an issue,” he added.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com