Residents complain as snow removal stretches on for fourth day

By Spencer Sterritt
February 6, 2017 - 2:29pm
City crews have been out 24/7 to clear the snow but say constant heavy snowfall has hampered their ability to help everywhere in the city.
City crews have been out 24/7 to clear the snow but say constant heavy snowfall has hampered their ability to help everywhere in the city. Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — On Nanaimo Facebook pages such as A Better Nanaimo and Nanaimo Talk you'll find many complaints about how the city handled snow removal on Friday and the weekend.

 

 

 

 

David Myles, the manager of roads and traffic for the City of Nanaimo, said their crews have been out 24/7 since Thursday night.

He said they focused on priority and emergency roads and intended to move into other areas of the city, but were waylaid several times by the continuing snow.

“You get it just cleared and ready to move in the secondary and residential (areas) and then another snowfall hits,” he said. “Completely covers up your priority roads so you have to turn around and get back on those. We've been chasing that right through the weekend.”

Many Facebook posts referenced a $200,000 cut to the snow removal budget and how it was affecting their current efforts to clear the snow.

Myles confirmed the reduction but said it didn't hamper how many crews were on the ground or how effective they were. He said the cut means they have less money overall, not for specific snow incidents.

“It'll probably mean that I'll get to that full budget amount sooner than I would have if I get another December this year similar to the December we just had,” he said. “Chances are we may be going over the budget, but it's hard to see.”

If Myles and his crew does go over-budget, he said there are emergency funds they can access.

According to the City, the budget for snow and ice control in 2016 was $600,000 and is now $400,000. Over the last four years, the department has averaged nearly $357,000 is expenditures. 

According to Environment Canada, the snow is supposed to continue for the next few days, though not in the heavy amounts we've seen so far.

 

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On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit

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