© TC Media photo by Mike Carson
Two men work at lightening the load on the roof of a home off Water Street on Sunday afternoon. Heavy snowfall this winter has caused a considerable buildup of snow on roofs across the province.
SUMMERSIDE — Snow removal crews have had their work cut out for them during the month of December and the new year hasn’t offered much relief.
Municipal services director Greg Gaudet said so far the city crews and contractors have been able to stay ahead of the snow, keeping streets open and sidewalks cleared.
“It’s business as usual for us,” Gaudet said. “It’s been a typical December. The last Decembers have been pretty mild. This is a pretty normal for a December for us.”
Gaudet said the mounds of snow removed from the streets are being transported to a snow dump out by the wastewater treatment plant on MacKenzie Drive.
He said it is difficult to determine the status of the budget until all of the numbers are in.
“Our winter snow budget season goes from Jan.1 to Dec. 31,” added Gaudet. “Those audited financial statements don’t come out until the end of March. That’s usually when we know exactly where we area with the budget. Right now, it’s not abnormal. We’re just starting a new budget year so we’ll have to see how it goes.”
One of the plusses for the department this year has been its equipment.
“We’ve had very minimal equipment breakdowns,” said Gaudet. “That’s the good story for us because with this amount of snow a lot of times we get a fair number of breakdowns, but the city has invested capital dollars in replacing older equipment over the last seven years.”
He added the fewer the breakdowns in equipment, the more consistent snow removal services would be for the public.
“I’m sure people are getting frustrated with the start of the winter season with the amount of times they’ve had to shovel,” said the municipal services director. “It’s always a challenge when there’s lots of snow.”
The latest priority for his department is to make sure that fire hydrants are cleared of snow.