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Expanded snow, ice removal services added to Grande Prairie budget debate

Grande Prairie city councillors have deferred talks over more than $300,000 in new funding to help make changes to snow and ice control measures across the municipality to the upcoming fall budget.

The debate will include a proposal to raise funding for contracted residential snow removal by $250,000 to include up to six residential clearings after a minimum of 7.5 centimetres of snow has accumulated. Additionally, they’re looking to increase the funding for transit stops by $75,000 to reflect a service standard for defined transit stops to be cleared within one business day for Priority 1 and two business days for Priority 2 following a snowfall.

Mayor Jackie Clayton says the state of snow removal is something they hear from residents about on a pretty frequent basis, and they’re hoping that dialogue will continue as they look to search for more ways to cover as many needs as efficiently as possible.

“Snow removal is a significant item on our budget, and council wants our winter city to be served as well as possible, but it can’t be at all costs,” she says.

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“That doesn’t mean anytime there is a skiff of snow, there needs to be measurables, deliverables, and expectations while understanding we live in a winter city.”

Clayton says the hope when it comes to bus stop snow removal is that by increasing the timeframe when snow is removed, residents will have a better and safer time waiting at the bus stop.

“The overall Transit Redesign has been a moving, living document in the sense that we regularly hear from delegations and phone calls that it’s not quite working right,” she says.

“I can tell you that [while] it’s not quite working right yet, we will continue to improve the service, listen to residents and find solutions that make the redesign successful… and one of that parts of that is snow removal at bus stops.”

Council will debate the proposals during budget deliberation later this year.

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