The City of Dryden is looking to update their snow clearing policies. Public Works Operations Manager Colin Hawkins delivered his report to councillors last night, detailing a number of revisions and policy specifications.

“The policy revision is an update to policies on paper that have not been changed since 1998,” said Hawkins. “It’s been updated to reflect technological and service level changes throughout the city. You won’t see a change on the roadways in the way that clearing is done, but it’s a great way to get council involved.”

One notable policy change is that routes of back-lanes have now been defined. This allows Public Works staff to monitor when and how the lanes are being plowed, and to look for efficiency in the clearing of the lanes.

Despite looking for efficiencies and improvements, Hawkins says that it’s been smooth sailing for his staff so far this winter.

“Clearing has been going very well this winter, however, it’s been a very brisk winter with snow. As always at this point of time, I’m hopeful that we’re over the halfway mark for the winter but you never know. We’ll be here right until the end of the last snowfall to make sure that the roads are traversable and the sidewalks are walkable,” Hawkins added.

Mayor Greg Wilson shared concerns over snow and ice buildups after roadways get plowed by the city’s graders. Hawkins noted that the city has looked at purchasing a snow gate for their two graders, which clears the buildup of snow and ice on driveways, after the grader clears snow from the roadway. The piece of machinery is attached to the side of the grader in the winter season.

However, the equipment significantly slows down the work of the graders, meaning that they will then take longer to clear roads. Hawkins said that the city is not prepared to do that, and the machinery can also lead to necessary grader repairs. The City of Kenora owns a snow gate, but it is not often utilized due to these concerns.

Councillors may also look at a GPS tracking system for their graders in the winter season. Councillor Shayne Mackinnon suggested their implementation, so residents are able to avoid re-shovelling their driveways after the grader plows the roadway. The City of Toronto implements a similar system, and the City of Dryden’s graders do currently have the available technology. The information is not currently available for residents, however, it is used for Public Works tracking purposes.

Councillors did share concerns over certain sidewalks in the city that do not get regularly cleared due to difficulties with the size of the specific sidewalk, and a lack of available resources. Councillors also hope to address large snowbank concerns in the downtown core.

Public Works is suggesting that staff and council revisit their snow clearing policies on an annual basis, to address any concerns that are found throughout each winter season. As the city also moves toward a more stable financial situation, Mayor Greg Wilson added that additional resources in 2021 and past will help to alleviate some of the community’s snow clearing concerns.

For more information:
Dryden prepared for more snow

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