Thunder Bay Snow Clearing Budget Increases Sought

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Long before most people were awake.. Thunder Bay City Crews were out working
Long before most people were awake.. Thunder Bay City Crews were out working
Downtown Sidewalks are getting cleared. Road crews are running out of places to put snow.
Downtown Sidewalks getting cleared. Road crews are running out of places to put snow.

Thunder Bay Roads Seeks Funds for Snowclearing

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The past two winters have seen Thunder Bay buried under snow. Last winter, as the snowbanks grew, the city’s coffers grew ever thinner as the snow clearing budget was chewed up.

Clearing Thunder Bay streets and sidewalks has cost the city a lot of money over the past couple of winters. Right now the Roads Department is seeking an additional $700,000 for this winter in order to keep up.

At the same time Roads are also looking to reduce service. The goal is taking the standard for residential streets from ten centimetres of snow up to fifteen centimetres of snow before side streets are cleared.

Street light bases left under the snow which is full of salt will rust.
Street light bases left under the snow which is full of salt will rust.

The impact of large amounts of snow are seen in how the city looks come spring time. This spring after several winters of being buried under snow, several streetlamp posts in the downtown Fort William Business area had to be taken down. The impact of salt on the metal had corroded the posts. One actually fell over at the corner of Brodie and Victoria Avenue.

The city cleared downtown sidewalks twice last winter.

Snowbanks have to be ploughed out into the street and then huge snowblowers remove the snow into dump trucks.
Snowbanks have to be ploughed out into the street and then huge snowblowers remove the snow into dump trucks.

If the city received similar amounts of snow this winter, clearing the sidewalks in the city’s downtown areas should be also made a priority. Those tall snowbanks can be dangerous for pedestrians, and they are a serious impediment to business owners as it makes it extremely hard for customers to get to downtown businesses.

There are tradeoffs. Clearing snow costs the city a lot of money. However having business and streets hard to navigate is costly too.

Council will be making a decision on this issue shortly…

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