The City of Kimberley has released their annual Snow and Ice Management Plan for the 2018/19 winter season.
Senior Manager of Operations Chris Mummery presented the plan to Council at a regular meeting on Monday, stating that this year’s plan will look similar to that of previous years, with a few minor changes.
“We fine tuned the language of the document to make it more clear for the City and for residents,” explained Mummery. “We also look at minor changes all the time and try to improve annually.”
He adds that the Operations department added priority routes to the document’s map to further help with clarity.
The City’s snow removal crew consists of both full time and causal employees including; three grader operators, three loader operators, six truck drivers and one trail maintenance operator. There are also parks and facilities staff and casual employees when needed, depending on snow and weather conditions.
There are 18 different machines in the City’s snow removal fleet from bobcats and trail maintenance machines to loaders and graders.
Councillor Darryl Oakley pointed out that one of the graders is 40 years old. He asked Mummery if there was a plan to replace the old machine.
Mummery responded saying that it will absolutely need to be replaced or upgraded within the next five years.
He adds that all of the City’s graders are in working condition and in the past, the 40 year-old one was used as a spare or alternate.
“We will be using the grader [full time] this year so that will add to some small changes in service, primarily in Marysville,” Mummery said. “The newest grader is serving us quite well, and we will rent loaders during prime snow removal times to help speed things along.”
Mayor Don McCormick says that City crews are working hard during the winter months to ensure the roads are in good condition.
“We are a snow town, and the more snow we get the better. We’ve had a couple of years of epic snow, and some snowfalls are a cause for celebration on one hand but a cause for grief from our City crews on the other hand,” said McCormick. “We will have to manage that the best we can… the level of service in snow removal [in Kimberley] for those three months is probably the single highest of any, it’s really tough.”
He adds that equipment needs to be a priority for the City to ensure that their crew can get their jobs done properly.
In terms of routes, the City has two specific routes for snow removal, priority route and standard route.
The Snow and Ice Management Plan states that there are two routes that crews attend to; the priority route and the standard route.
The priority route focuses on clearing hills and major access routes to all neighbourhoods, and is followed any time a change in conditions necessitate its use.
“This route generally employees between three and give operators and takes approximately six hours to complete, depending on conditions,” said Mummery.
The standard route is a methodical schedule that ensures every street, lane and designated trail or sidewalk is planned for clearing over a 72 hour period.
“This route is followed after the needs met by the priority route have been addressed, and is typically followed during weekday work hours. The standard route employs up to 13 operators and may take up to 72 hours to complete, depending on snow conditions,” Mummery explained.
There are also seven different priorities for plowing, the first one being hills and main thoroughfares, as well as collector and secondary thoroughfares, bridges and traffic routes to schools.
Priority two is industrial and commercial streets, priority three is residential streets and laneways, and the last priority is snow storage removal.