High snow banks a safety concern

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BILL BOW­MAN

Pri­vate op­er­a­tors plow­ing snow onto pub­lic streets from park­ing lots are caus­ing some “very se­ri­ous safety con­cerns,” ac­cord­ing to the deputy mayor of Car­bon­ear. Ches Ash raised the is­sue at a Feb. 21 coun­cil meet­ing. Ash said he has re­ceived a cou­ple of calls from cit­i­zens com­plain­ing that in some ar­eas where side streets in­ter­sect with main roads snow is pil­ing up on corners, caus­ing blind spots, which have be­come a safety is­sue for peo­ple at­tempt­ing to turn onto those roads.

“ We have to find a way to deal with that be­cause it is a se­ri­ous safety is­sue,” Ash told coun­cil.

If snow banks are in­hibit­ing the view of driv­ers, coun­cil should have some­thing in place to deal with it. “ We need to demon­strate that is not ac­cept­able,” Ash sug­gested.

He noted in one case a coun­cil crew had to go back and clear snow from an area, even though they didn’t put it there in the first place. He said coun­cil needs some kind of pol­icy with “some teeth” to deal with this sit­u­a­tion.

Brian O’Grady, di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works, said the town does have a snow­clear­ing pol­icy.

In re­sponse to com­plaints about res­i­dents push­ing snow onto streets, O’Grady said he has been hand­ing out copies of the reg­u­la­tions, a move which “ has been meet­ing with some suc­cess.”

The memo re­minds res­i­dents that, “shov­el­ling and/or push­ing snow into town streets is a vi­o­la­tion of the Town of Car­bon­ear snow­clear­ing reg­u­la­tions.”

Cit­i­zens vi­o­lat­ing the reg­u­la­tions can be fined $100 for the first of­fence, $250 for the sec­ond and $500 for the third and sub­se­quent of­fences.

Mayor Sam Slade sug­gested con­trac­tors who plow snow onto pub­lic streets should be treated no dif­fer­ently than in­di­vid­u­als. “ They should be asked to go back and re­move the snow – and this should be dealt with im­me­di­ately.”

Ash ex­plained the snow wasn’t ac­tu­ally left on the road, “ but was piled pretty close to the side of the road.”

Slade asked town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis to take an­other look at the snow­clear­ing reg­u­la­tions, and if she finds “the pol­icy is not strong enough to bring back some rec­om­men­da­tions to coun­cil.”

Snow blower?

Coun. David Kennedy asked O’Grady about the cost of ac­quir­ing a snow­blower that could be at­tached to coun­cil equip­ment.

O’Grady replied they are quite ex­pen­sive, in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.

O’Grady sug­gested one of the op­tions coun­cil may wish to con­sider is a smaller side­walk snow­blower.

While coun­cil won’t be ac­quir­ing such equip­ment im­me­di­ately, Ash felt it is some­thing they need to in­ves­ti­gate and look at the cost-ben­e­fit to the town. “Per­haps this is some­thing to con­sider for the fu­ture.” Be­cause the wing plows can only push snow so far back on the road­sides, O’Grady said they have started to use load­ers to “ bucket the snow” and re­move it to widen streets.

Mean­while, Kennedy had some fur­ther snow­clear­ing is­sues he wanted to talk about, but Mayor Slade pre­ferred to deal with them in the priv­i­leged meet­ing, which fol­lowed the pub­lic session.

New doors

Coun­cil passed a mo­tion to pur­chase two new in­te­rior doors from Speedy Auto Glass at a cost of $5,571.13.

The town made the de­ci­sion, acting on a rec­om­men­da­tion by the re­cre­ation, spe­cial events, cul­ture and tourism com­mit­tee to pur­chase the doors.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis told the Com­pass af­ter­wards the doors are for the swim­ming pool. Davis said, “the orig­i­nal doors at the fa­cil­ity are de­te­ri­o­rat­ing, and the town is re­plac­ing so many at a time.”

A cou­ple of years ago four doors be­tween the lobby and change rooms and change rooms and pool deck were re­placed.

“ Two more are be­ing re­placed now. The town is bud­get­ing so many at a time since they are rel­a­tively costly,” Davis noted.

The old stain­less steel doors, which tend to rust faster in the high hu­mid­ity lev­els at the pool, are be­ing re­placed with new alu­minium doors.

Hello!

Coun. Ches Ash, who chairs the fi­nance com­mit­tee, said the town has been able to save a lit­tle over $1,600 on its an­nual tele­phone bill af­ter re­view­ing its tele­phone sys­tem with Aliant.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Davis ex­plained the re­vised tele­phone plan will mean re­duced rates, “with­out any re­duc­tion to our cur­rent tele­phone ser­vice.

Sum­mer stu­dents

Coun. Ed Goff asked Rob But­ton, di­rec­tor of re­cre­ation and tourism, about the Her­itage So­ci­ety’s ap­pli­ca­tion for fund­ing for sum­mer stu­dents.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Davis ex­plained af­ter­wards, “the Her­itage So­ci­ety is mak­ing ap­pli­ca­tion for sum­mer stu­dents for tour guides and to as­sist with tourist in­for­ma­tion and the walk­ing tours for the up­com­ing sum­mer sea­son.”

The town ad­min­is­tra­tor noted the stu­dents, “will be tak­ing a more ac­tive roll in the museums and Coun. Goff was sug­gest­ing the di­rec­tor of re­cre­ation and tourism pro­vide as­sis­tance in this re­gard and to en­sure they were aware of the up­com­ing dead­line.”

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