Fewer complaints about snow removal

Armstrong has purchased a new tractor and hired a winter casual operator

The City of Armstrong’s newest purchase is paying dividends.

Since purchasing a new tractor and the hiring of a winter casual operator, sidewalk snow removal since the middle of December has led to minimal or no complaints from residents.

“Things are significantly better than in past years with contracted services,” said public works manager Tim Perepolkin.

“The rear mount sidewalk sander has also proved to be a great investment as it allows the sidewalk plow to sand when and where necessary as the sidewalk is cleared.”

There are still some challenges for staff clearing streets and sidewalks, and that’s with the placement of garbage and/or recycling containers, residents parking on streets and pushing or blowing snow from driveways back onto the street.

The city will be placing newspaper ads to remind residents of these issues as they affect the snow removal process.

Armstrong has no written policy for snow removal and hauling snow on roadways and boulevards within the city.

The only policy in place pertains to snow clearing from driveway ends, which states the ends will be cleared of accumulated snow debris only on streets that are plowed all  one way.

These are the streets that have sidewalks on one side.

Sidewalk snow removal has varied over the years, and a priority route map was developed.

“Now that we are plowing sidewalks in-house, we have been working towards a more linear plowing process following a similar route as the roadway plowing,” said Coun. Steven Drapala, chairperson of the public works committee.

“This reduces the need to move around from one location to another, and enables roadway plows to remove any snow that gets pushed from the sidewalk onto the road.”

Drapala said the city is still taking into account priorities such as school zones and main routes and hills.

“We feel the current procedures are working well based on the amount of staff and equipment available,” said Drapala.