Volume 94, Issue 60

Wednesday, January 10, 2001


NEWS

Academic visit raises questions

Finally - York strike over

City will meet to discuss snow removal

UWO proves beer's healthiness

Women's centre forced to turn some away - Lack of funding keeps women's service at bare minimum

Briefs

Planet Me

City will meet to discuss snow removal



By Yasna Markovic
Gazette Staff



Blanketed in snow, the City of London is trying to dig itself out.

City councillors will meet on Monday hoping to resolve the issue of too much snow and not enough equipment to remove it.

Inundated with complaints from local residents, councillors on the City's Environment and Transportation Committee hope to come up with a short term solution to the problem.

"Snow removal needs have basically overwhelmed the City," said Rob Alder, Ward 2 councillor and member of the ETC. "The key thing is to give the staff this week to find additional snow removal equipment," he added. The City is in need of snow blowers for sidewalks and trucks that can plow smaller streets, he said.

According to Alder, two main issues will be discussed at Monday's meeting: the lateness in which the smaller streets and cul-de-sacs are cleaned and the slowness in cleaning sidewalks. Snow covered sidewalks have forced residents to walk along the streets, posing a danger to their safety. "I saw one lady walking down Fanshawe [Park Road] on the street." Alder commented.

Snow clearing priority is given to the main streets, such as Richmond Street. Traffic is generally able to move without interruption on the main roads, but the back streets don't get cleaned until two or three days later, Alder said.

"The report that we got last night said that to fully respond to the snowfall, the City needs $1.3 million," he said. "Over the past five years, there's been little snowfall. We've trimmed the budget back. We don't know whether it will continue snowing like this."

The ETC hopes to create a contract with the private sector, he explained. "If we get snow that is beyond the capacity of the City, we can call in the private sector." Alder said the funds the City would need to accomplish this are readily available in the City's coffers. "We have substantial reserves in the city budget."

City councillors are not the only ones having trouble dealing with the snow. According to John Pepers, general manager of U-Need-A Cab, the taxi company has also had its fair share of complaints, mostly about long waits for cars.

"December and January are our busiest months anyway. The snow compounds [the problem]," he said. Since many streets and driveways are not cleaned in time, the drivers are having difficulty pulling into driveways, he noted. "We are trying our best, but we can't control the weather."

Fortunately for students, the university has not had any snow removal problems. Dave Riddell, associate vice president of Western's Physical Plant Services and Capital Planning Services, said the university has not had any trouble clearing the snow. "Our grounds crew have done a pretty good job. We tend to work through the night before the school opens."

The city hopes to resolve its problems by next week, Alder said.


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