When the snow starts falling, there’ll be a new crew clearing sidewalks in Elmira, as Woolwich council this week awarded a three-year contract to carry out the service.
Creative Asphalt and Landscape Works of St. Clements was the lowest of four bids received.
The township has budgeted $70,000 for sidewalk snow clearing. The money is collected from a special levy of some $20 a year applied to the taxes of each Elmira homeowner.
Given past complaints about the service, the township has raised the bar with this new contract, director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley told councillors.
Under terms of the contract, the company will be expected to clear out any snow its crews push onto people’s driveways and to pay special attention to clearing handicap parking spaces, for instance.
“We have certainly put the contractor on notice that our expectations are higher, and that we’re looking for them to be able to perform well,” he said. “We do have higher expectations than have existed in the past.”
For the rest of the township, the return of snowfalls will mean clearing their own sidewalks under a bylaw that was modified earlier this year. The language of the bylaw was made more specific, indicating that clearing of snow does not necessarily require removal down to the concrete, but to a level of no more than 3.8 centimetres (1.5 inches). As for ice, there is an expectation that residents will spread something akin to pickled sand (sand laced with some salt) on the surface should ice accumulate.
As well, the revised bylaw now makes the township responsible for any sidewalk where snow has been pushed onto the walkway to a depth of more than a foot by road-clearing operations. Previously, that practice was limited to so-called curb-face sidewalks, such as those adjacent to major roads.