District to Purchase New Snow Removal Machine

The District of Squamish is buying a new snow removal in December that would be handy if the snow turned out to be as bad as it was this past season. “The basic premise is to purchase a heavy duty, narrow (around 48” wide) machine that can easily fit on trails and sidewalks.

District operations have built the proposal based on a unit that will have a flail mower, plow, sander as well as a broom attachment so that the unit can be used year round to keep the sidewalks and trails in top shape,” said director of operations, Bob Smith. Details as to what, where and how the District will deploy this machine during snow clearing operations is under development.

The private property owners will still be responsible for clearing snow from their own sidewalks but this machine will help support such priorities as safe routes to school, safe routes for seniors, bus stops and other broad-reaching community needs, he added. 

The long winter prompted some citizens to write to the district about inadequate snow removal. Joanna Schwarz said she wished the district would clear snow from all sidewalks in downtown, even if it means an extra fees.

“Whenever I crossed from the parking lot opposite Diamond Head Clinic, I felt I was in danger of falling on the uncleared sidewalk. If my husband dropped me off curbside, I had to manoeuvre over a high rim of snow before reaching the narrow sidewalk,” she said. 

Local Ueli Liechti said many roads were left unplowed by district for days even as the snow piled up. “During the Friday, February 3 snowfall, one lane of Kintyre was plowed but no intersections were cleared. The Nairn and Orkney cul-de-sacs, which have uphill grades, had so much snow that emergency vehicles would not be able to access and vehicles on Montrose and Jura Crescent could not get out,” he said. 

Now he hopes the district would do a thorough review of the snow removal operations of this winter.  Arterial roads, major collector roads, bus routes, police and fire station, ambulance stations, school zones, downtown commercial corridors, and Westway Ave are the top priorities when it comes to snow removal.

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