Residents rankled to read about cut of snow plow service
Instead of being notified by the municipality, residents of a Coldstream neighbourhood opened up the newspaper to discover a local service was being cut.
The District of Coldstream agreed to discontinue snow plowing services on Priest Valley Court due to the fact that it is a private access road (since it is not a public road the district is not obligated to service it). The district historically provided the service, but with the contract expiring Oct. 31 Coldstream decided not to renew the service.
“Why is it that we, the residents of Coldstream, are the last to hear when this concerns us?” Priest Valley Court resident Les Brandt asked Coldstream council Monday.
In fact, the local residents claim they did not receive formal notice of the change until they requested it, after reading about it in The Morning Star.
“The loss of this contract is a significant safety concern to residents in the area,” said Brandt, noting that access for emergency vehicles would be compromised if the road is not cleared of snow.
While the residents realize that Coldstream is not obligated to provide the service, they are not comfortable with having to pay for private snow removal.
“It’s unreasonable for us as taxpayers,” said Brandt.
The Priest Valley residents say they inherited the service of snow clearing with the purchase of their homes years ago.
While Coldstream has been plowing the road for more than two decades, it has concerns with liability.
“If we were to back into a vehicle or, God forbid, hit somebody we would be liable,” said Mike Pethick, Coldstream’s operations superintendant.
But there is liability anywhere a service is provided, counters Coun. Gyula Kiss, who would like to see the contract renewed.
“It’s a service to our constituents,” said Kiss, whose suggestion to renew the contract was turned down by the majority of council.
It was also suggested that council could investigate the costs and process to assume Priest Valley Court as a public roadway, but that was also shot down.
“I think its (contract) time is done,” said Coun. Richard Enns.