City employee James Taylor tries out the new sidewalk plow purchased by the city to replace its old one. The city also replaced a grader and has recently received one of the new garbage trucks in what has been called “Christmas Time” down at the city’s public works yard.

Terrace city crews gear up for winter

New sidewalk plow to make clearing easier for pedestrian access

WITH winter now here, City of Terrace crews have made preparations, including getting used to a new sidewalk plow to replace the old.

The city’s job is fairly round-the-clock and is done by the roads and drainage crew of 12 who are on duty 24-hours a day from Sunday night through Friday evening, with a day shift operating on weekends, says city public works director Rob Schibli.

Private companies are contracted out to remove snow and otherwise assist during major storms, he added.

Crews use both sand and salt to fight the ice and snow, with the latter losing its effectiveness as the weather gets colder. Using sand helps with traction on the hills and the salt helps keep the drains clear, according to the city.

Workers will also use shovels to clear drains plugged up by snow.

Street parking impeding snow removal is not permitted and vehicles may be towed.

Residents also have to clear the bottom of their own driveways after plows have gone through.

But since 2009, the city has been helping out the elderly and those with physical and other challenges to deal with the windrows plugging driveways after a street has been cleared.

Qualifying applicants of a residential property can receive a rebate from the city of 50 per cent to a maximum of $250 per winter if paying someone else to do the work.

Applicants must first submit a form to the city and ensure signatures and/or receipts are obtained from the person or company doing the work.

According to Schibli, 28 residents signed up for the program in 2014 which used $2,940 of the program’s $5,000 annual budget.

The program has never gone over budget, even though it is a first come first serve program, said city corporate administrator Alisa Thompson.

“We’ve never exceeded the budget since the program was initiated so it seems very unlikely. It is first come, first served but if we had a huge participation increase council could look at increasing the amount in the budget the next year,” she said.

Residents must own and occupy the property to be cleared, be 65 years of age or more at the date of application or be permanently confined to a wheelchair, restricted to the permanent use of crutches or braces, or otherwise be permanently disabled in such a way as to restrict physical mobility.

No able-bodied persons the age of 65 can reside at the property.

Condo complexes where snow removal is the responsibility of the condo corporation do not qualify.