Some residents may question the need for snow removal this late in the year, but the city’s manager of public works says there are still plenty of reasons to remove it instead of just letting it melt.
In response to a complaint from the public, Darrin Albo, manager of public works, explained the reasons for continued snow removal to mayor and council in an email that was then shared with the press.
There are many reasons for continuing to remove snow, instead of just letting it melt. The first is to remove snow from corners to make it safer at intersections and keep sight lines from being blocked.
“We put quite a bit of snow on boulevards and when it affects sight lines of intersections and people’s driveways, because you know they do get quite high, we will go around and remove snow for safety reasons,” explains Albo.
The city also removes snow from boulevards when there’s too much snow to be stored without it falling onto private property.
“As they get built up, what happens is the snow shoots off the top of the mound and it physically falls onto private property, so in order to keep people pleasantly happy, as much as we can, we try not to put any on private property,” says Albo. “But in some areas it’s just not possible.”
Snow sometimes also needs to be removed to open up catchbasins and dirty snow needs to be removed so that when the snow melts, the sand doesn’t end up causing problems.
“We do go around and remove — especially on steep streets — the excessive amount of sand that people get because what happens is that ends up falling onto the street and then when we get rain it washes into storm system, which creates a whole bunch of other issues downstream.”
The cost of snow removal for the city is $309.89 per hour, and last year $90,820 of a budgeted $95,615 was spent on snow removal, including removal from the downtown and side streets. That amount is strictly for removal and doesn’t include plowing or sanding.